There may be a time in college when you need to collect statistical data by yourself, instead of relying on data found in the Internet. Whether it is assigned, or a task you think is beneficial for you to do in order to write a better and more precise essay, composing a questionnaire is not an easy task, and you will be not likely to do it effectively from your first attempt, as there are many factors to be mindful of.
Having already selected a topic, analyze the main goal of your survey. If the topic of your survey is fast food, you can focus on discovering one of the following issues “opinions on fast food”, “consumption”, “most popular chains”, “fast food vs. home cooked”. If you clearly visualize the question to discover, it will be easier for you to find out the answers. At the same time, you need to be careful not to get biased or stereotyped from the start, and not turn your goal into something along the lines of “students eat a lot of fast food, right?”, “in college people are too lazy to cook”. Those are arguments that you may or may not find out by the end of your survey, so stay neutral.
The first draft will most likely be just the start of ascending the mountaintop. A survey needs to be logically structured, and that means starting with the headline that will catch the attention and provide full information. Most students are too busy for surveys, so they need to know what they are getting in right away. That is why, structure-wise, your survey must be no longer than three pages, and contain the shortest and most precise questions possible.
The feedback section should be placed at the end of the questionnaire, when the person completing it has already been immersed in the topic and has had time to recall their experience and formulate an opinion. In our case, you can include questions about how often, why, at what time, students eat at such food. Towards the end, ask such questions as “Have you ever suffered from fast food poisoning?”, “What are your general opinions about fast food?”, “How often would you bring your future children to eat at fast food?”, – that will prompt the person to share their true vision.
Be sure to include an “other” option. Your experience may vastly differ, and you might not even consider that a person has an “other” preference of fast food chains, or else. In order to save time, provide the most precise answers that cover the main options, as it will be easier for you to analyze the data, as well as for the person to finish faster. You can also use a scale-type of answer, for a question like “Are you satisfied with the speed of service at fast food restaurants?”, provide such answers as “very satisfied, mildly satisfied, dissatisfied”. Remember, that there is no universal standard that applies to everyone, and your questionnaire is always a work in progress, while your job is to make it as comfortable, informative and precise as possible.