The Key To Asking The Right Type Of Questions

A general understanding of the types of questions and their correct uses is very important in creating an effective surveys.

Keep the questions easy to answer. Use proper grammar and words that will not be difficult for respondents to understand. Avoid using jargon or double negatives.

Make your questions as short as possible. If the person responding to the survey has to struggle to comprehend the question or gets confused by the wording, they may not give an accurate answer.

There are 2 main types of questions: Closed and Open

Closed questions

Multiple Choice Questions:

These type of questions allow the respondent to quickly respond to many items, permitting wide sampling and coverage of content. They are also easier to analyze than open questions.

Here is an example of a multiple choice question…

Limit multiple choice options to between 2 and 5. When asking a range question, use the numbers 1 to 5. If there are too many options to consider, a respondent may get confused or forget what the other options were.

Rating Questions:

These detailed types of satisfaction or preference questions can help you to understand what a respondent likes best or least about a particular thing.

Here is an example of rating questions, feel free to enter your answers…


Open Questions

Short & Long Text:

This type of question is most likely to provide you with the most feedback. It allows the respondent to provide potentially unexpected answers that you had not addressed in your closed questions.

Remember that open questions are harder to analyze, so don’t ask them unless you are ready and willing to read them carefully and take the time to properly and fully evaluate these answers

Here is an example of a short text question…

Here is an example of a long text question…

Make the questions simple as possible and only ask relevant questions. If you don’t need to know where they live, don’t ask. The most effective questions are closed questions (such as, yes/no, rating scales, multiple choice).

Be very aware not to use leading questions unless you want to destroy the authenticity and sincerity of the data you get back. You don’t want to lead your respondents into answering a certain way based on the wording of the questions.

Also we aware of using loaded questions, an example of which are questions that contain an controversial assumption, such as “Have you stopped cheating on your wife yet?” If you say Yes, then you are admitting that you had cheated in the past. If you answer No, then you are still cheating.

It is sometimes a good idea to leave open question at the end for people to add further comments if they wish to.