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Questionnaire Method

A Questionnaire consists of a number of questions printed or typed in a definite order on a form or set of forms. This method is quite popular, particularly in case of big enquiries. It is being adopted by research workers, private an public organisations and even by governments. The questionnaire is mailed to respondents who are expected to read and understand the questions, reply to the questions and send it back. The respondents have to answer the questions on their own. 

Merits of the Questionnaire Method:

  • It is less expensive and widely spread geographically. 
  • It is free from the bias of the interviewer because answers are in respondents' own words. 
  • Respondents are given sufficient time to answer.
  • Easily approachable to the respondents.
  • Large samples may made use of and thus may be made more dependable and reliable.

Demerits of the Questionnaire Method:

  • Low rate return to the scripts.
  • It can only be used with educated people.
  • Control over the questionnaire will be lost.
  • There is possibility of ambiguous replies or omission of replies.
  • This method is likely to be slower than other methods.

Essential Features of a Good Questionnaire: 

  • It should comparatively short and simple.
  • Questions should proceed in a logical sequence moving from easy to difficult questions. 
  • Personal and intimate questions should be left at the end.
  • Technical terms, vague expressions,capable of different interpretation should be avoided. 
  • Questions may be in pattern of 'yes' or 'no', multiple choices or open ended. 
  • Questions affecting the sentiments of others must be avoided. 
  • Directions of answering should be given. 
  • Finally the physical appearance of the questions should be good.

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