Writing Questions For Surveys

Course Date: June 21-24

• Introduce a structural analysis of parts of a survey question
• Introduce cognitive interviewing as a method for testing survey questions
• Describe guidelines for diagnosing problems in survey questions and writing new survey questions
• Focus on the structure and wording of survey questions, whether for interviewer-administered or self- administered instruments
• Provide an opportunity to apply the guidelines and principles during in-class exercises
• Focus on improving individual questions and sets of questions.
• Summarize research that underlies key decisions in writing survey questions.


This workshop distills research about survey questions to principles that can be applied to write survey questions that are clear and obtain reliable answers. The workshop provides students with tools to use in diagnosing problems in survey questions and in writing their own survey questions. Sessions combine lecture with group exercises and discussion. The lecture provides guidelines for writing and revising survey questions and illustrates how to revise troubled questions. Assignments require that students analyze problematic questions, revise them, and administer them to fellow students. Sessions consider both questions about events and behaviors and questions about subjective phenomena (such as attitudes, evaluations, and internal

Individuals who will be writing or reviewing survey questions or survey instruments or analyzing survey data. This course gives practical guidance to those who have written survey questions but who are not familiar with research on question design, those who are just beginning to design survey instruments, and those who use survey data but do not themselves design survey instruments.

SurvMeth 988.006 (1 credit hour)
Location: To Be Determined