How To: Create a Survey About an Important Issue

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Not only can surveys be very powerful, but they can also increase awareness about a cause you care about. Your survey results can give you information about what people think and believe about specific issues/topics. 

  1. Choose a topic you think people should know about. Be sure you know what information you want to gather from the survey.
  2. Check out sample surveys to help you make an awesome one.
  3. Questionnaires and interviews are two surveys to choose from. 
    Type of SurveyQuestionnairesInterviews
    Explanation and examples.Specific questions with a choice of answers. Example:
    Should animals be tested on?
    • yes
    • no
    • maybe
    Less specific questions that allow people to respond freely. Example:
    • Do you think animals should be tested on?
    • Are there any benefits from it?
    • On a scale from 1-10, how against animal testing are you?
    Why it is good
    • Can be handed out and collected later.
    • It doesn’t need a lot of people to do.
    • Easy to summarize.
    • Involves people more.
    • Allows range of answers to be recorded.
    • Insures responses on all surveys taken.
    Why it is not so good
    • People might fill it out as a joke.
    • Questions might be confusing (and people won’t fill it out)
    • Takes more people and time.
    • Harder to summarize general responses.
  4. Get friends, classmates, teachers, or even parents to help you create and get results for your survey. 
  5. Here are some tips on creating the survey:
    • Keep the survey as short as possible, asking only those questions that will provide the information you need.
    • Use a casual, conversational style, making the questions easy for almost anyone to understand.
    • Use multiple-choice questions whenever possible. 
    • Structure the survey so that the questions follow a logical order – i.e. from general to specific.
    • Start with information about who is taking the survey. Example:
      • Describe yourself: Teacher – Student – Staff -- Other
      • If you answered student, what grade are you in: 5-7 8-10 11-12
  6. There are various types of questions you can use:
    • Multiple choice questions with 3 to 5 possible answers given. 
    • Ranking scale questions.
      12345
      strongly
      disagree
      disagreeneutralagreestrongly
      agree
  7. Before you go live, test the survey on a few people to determine if your questions were easily understood and easy to answer. 
  8. Distribute your survey in school or in your community. Get the results and summarize them in one page. Bring your survey to a school board or town hall meeting (depending on what your survey is about) and share your results with people there.

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