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90 Survey Question Examples + Best Practices Checklist

What makes a good survey question, what is the importance of asking the right questions, 9 types of survey questions + examples, how to conduct surveys effectively, make surveys easier with fullsession, fullsession pricing plans, install your first website survey today, faqs about survey questions.

An effective survey is the best way to collect customer feedback. It will serve as your basis for multiple functions, such as improving your product, supplementing market research, creating new marketing strategies, and much more. But what makes an effective survey?

The answer is simple–you have to ask the right questions. Good survey questions gather concrete information from your audience and give you a solid idea of what you need to do next. However, the process of creating a survey is not that easy–you want to make every question count.

In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about survey questions, with 90 examples and use cases.

Understanding the anatomy of a good survey question can transform your approach to data collection, ensuring you gather information that’s both actionable and insightful. Let’s dive deeper into the elements that make a survey question effective:

  • Clarity is Key:  Questions should be straightforward and leave no room for interpretation, ensuring uniform understanding across all respondents.
  • Conciseness Matters:  Keep questions short and to the point. Avoid unnecessary wording that could confuse or disengage your audience.
  • Bias-Free Questions:  Ensure questions are neutral and do not lead respondents toward a particular answer. This maintains the integrity of your data.
  • Avoiding Ambiguity:  Specify the context clearly and ask questions in a way that allows for direct and clear answers, eliminating confusion.
  • Ensuring Relevance:  Each question should have a clear purpose and be directly related to your survey’s objectives, avoiding any irrelevant inquiries.
  • Easy to Answer:  Design questions in a format that is straightforward for respondents to understand and respond to, whether open-ended, multiple-choice, or using a rating scale.

Keep these points in mind as you prepare to write your survey questions. It also helps to refer back to these goals after drafting your survey so you can see if you hit each mark.

The primary goal of a survey is to collect information that would help meet a specific goal, whether that be gauging customer satisfaction or getting to know your target audience more. Asking the right survey questions is the best way to achieve that goal. More specifically, a good survey can help you with:

Informed Decision-Making

A solid foundation of data is essential for any business decision, and the right survey questions point you in the direction of the most valuable information.

Survey responses serve as a basis for the strategic decisions that can propel a business forward or redirect its course to avoid potential pitfalls. By understanding what your audience truly wants or needs, you can tailor your products or services to meet those demands more effectively.

Uncovering Customer Preferences

Today’s consumers have more options than ever before, and their preferences can shift with the wind. Asking the right survey questions helps you tap into the current desires of their target market, uncovering trends and preferences that may not be immediately obvious.

This insight allows you to adapt your products, services, and marketing messages to resonate more deeply with the target audience, fostering loyalty and encouraging engagement.

Identifying Areas for Improvement

No product, service, or customer experience is perfect, but the path to improvement lies in understanding where the gaps are. The right survey questions can shine a light on these areas, offering a clear view of what’s working and what’s not.

This feedback is invaluable for continuous improvement, helping you refine your products and enhance the customer experience. In turn, this can lead to increased satisfaction, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth.

Reducing Churn Rate

Churn rate is the percentage of customers who stop using your service or product over a given period. High churn rates can be a symptom of deeper issues, such as dissatisfaction with the product or service, poor customer experience, or unmet needs. Including good survey questions can help you identify the reasons behind customer departure and take proactive steps to address them.

For example, survey questions that explore customer satisfaction levels, reasons for discontinuation, or the likelihood of recommending the service to others can pinpoint specific factors contributing to churn.

Minimizing Website Bounce Rate

Bounce rate  is the percentage of visitors leaving a website after viewing just one page. High bounce rates may signal issues with a site’s content, layout, or user experience not meeting visitor expectations.

Utilizing surveys to ask about visitors’ web experiences can provide valuable insights into website usability, content relevance, and navigation ease. Effectively, well-crafted survey questions aimed at understanding the user experience can lead to strategic adjustments, improving overall website performance, and fostering a more engaged audience.

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A good survey consists of two or more types of survey questions. However, all questions must serve a purpose. In this section, we divide survey questions into nine categories and include the best survey question examples for each type:

1. Open Ended Questions

Open-ended questions  allow respondents to answer in their own words instead of selecting from pre-selected answers.

“What features would you like to see added to our product?”

“How did you hear about our service?”

“What was your reason for choosing our product over competitors?”

“Can you describe your experience with our customer service?”

“What improvements can we make to enhance your user experience?”

“Why did you cancel your subscription?”

“What challenges are you facing with our software?”

“How can we better support your goals?”

“What do you like most about our website?”

“Can you provide feedback on our new product launch?”

When to use open-ended questions: Using these survey questions is a good idea when you don’t have a solid grasp of customer satisfaction yet. Customers will have the freedom to express all their thoughts and opinions, which, in turn, will let you have an accurate feel of how customers perceive your brand.

2. Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple-choice questions offer a set of predefined answers, usually three to four. Businesses usually use multiple-choice survey questions to gather information on participants’ attitudes, behaviors, and preferences.

“Which of the following age groups do you fall into? (Under 18, 19-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56+)”

“What is your primary use of our product? (Personal, Business, Educational)”

“How often do you use our service? (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Rarely)”

“Which of our products do you use? (Product A, Product B, Product C, All of the above)”

“What type of content do you prefer? (Blogs, Videos, Podcasts, eBooks)”

“Where do you usually shop for our products? (Online, In-store, Both)”

“What is your preferred payment method? (Credit Card, PayPal, Bank Transfer, Cash)”

“Which social media platforms do you use regularly? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)”

“What is your employment status? (Employed, Self-Employed, Unemployed, Student)”

“Which of the following best describes your fitness level? (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert)”

When to use multiple-choice questions: Asking multiple-choice questions can help with market research and segmentation. You can easily divide respondents depending on what pre-determined answer they choose. However, if this is the purpose of your survey, each question must be based on behavioral types or customer personas.

3. Yes or No Questions

Yes or no questions are straightforward, offering a binary choice.

“Have you used our product before?”

“Would you recommend our service to a friend?”

“Are you satisfied with your purchase?”

“Do you understand the terms and conditions?”

“Was our website easy to navigate?”

“Did you find what you were looking for?”

“Are you interested in receiving our newsletter?”

“Have you attended one of our events?”

“Do you agree with our privacy policy?”

“Have you experienced any issues with our service?”

When to use yes/no questions: These survey questions are very helpful in market screening and filtering out certain people for targeted surveys. For example, asking “Have you used our product before?” helps you separate the people who have tried out your product, a.k.a. the people who qualify for your survey.

4. Rating Scale Questions

Rating scale questions ask respondents to rate their experience or satisfaction on a numerical scale.

“On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our customer service?”

“How satisfied are you with the product quality? (1-5)”

“Rate your overall experience with our website. (1-5)”

“How likely are you to purchase again? (1-10)”

“On a scale of 1-10, how easy was it to find what you needed?”

“Rate the value for money of your purchase. (1-5)”

“How would you rate the speed of our service? (1-10)”

“Rate your satisfaction with our return policy. (1-5)”

“How comfortable was the product? (1-10)”

“Rate the accuracy of our product description. (1-5)”

When to use rating scale questions: As you can see from the survey question examples above, rating scale questions give you excellent  quantitative data  on customer satisfaction.

5. Checkbox Questions

Checkbox questions allow respondents to select multiple answers from a list. You can also include an “Others” option, where the respondent can answer in their own words.

“Which of the following features do you value the most? (Select all that apply)”

“What topics are you interested in? (Select all that apply)”

“Which days are you available? (Select all that apply)”

“Select the services you have used. (Select all that apply)”

“What types of notifications would you like to receive? (Select all that apply)”

“Which of the following devices do you own? (Select all that apply)”

“Select any dietary restrictions you have. (Select all that apply)”

“Which of the following brands have you heard of? (Select all that apply)”

“What languages do you speak? (Select all that apply)”

“Select the social media platforms you use regularly. (Select all that apply)”

When to use checkbox questions: Checkbox questions are an excellent tool for collecting  psychographic data , including information about customers’ lifestyles, behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, etc. Moreover, survey responses will help you correlate certain characteristics to specific market segments.

6. Rank Order Questions

Rank order questions ask respondents to prioritize options according to their preference or importance.

“Rank the following features in order of importance to you. (Highest to Lowest)”

“Please rank these product options based on your preference. (1 being the most preferred)”

“Rank these factors by how much they influence your purchase decision. (Most to Least)”

“Order these services by how frequently you use them. (Most frequent to Least frequent)”

“Rank these issues by how urgently you think they need to be addressed. (Most urgent to Least urgent)”

“Please prioritize these company values according to what matters most to you. (Top to Bottom)”

“Rank these potential improvements by how beneficial they would be for you. (Most beneficial to Least beneficial)”

“Order these content types by your interest level. (Most interested to Least interested)”

“Rank these brands by your preference. (Favorite to Least favorite)”

“Prioritize these activities by how enjoyable you find them. (Most enjoyable to Least enjoyable)”

When to use rank order questions: Respondents must already be familiar with your brand or products to answer these questions, which is why we recommend using these for customers in the middle or bottom of your  conversion funnel .

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7. Likert Scale Questions

Likert scale questions measure the intensity of feelings towards a statement on a scale of agreement or satisfaction. Usually, these survey questions use a 5 to 7-point scale, ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” or something similar.

  • “I am satisfied with the quality of customer service. (Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Disagree)”
  • “The product meets my needs. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I find the website easy to navigate. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I feel that the pricing is fair for the value I receive. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I would recommend this product/service to others. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I am likely to purchase from this company again. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “The company values customer feedback. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I am confident in the security of my personal information. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “The product features meet my expectations. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “Customer service resolved my issue promptly. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”

When to use Likert scale questions: You can use these survey question examples in different types of surveys, such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys. Likert scale questions give you precise measurements of how satisfied respondents are with a specific aspect of your product or service.

8. Matrix Survey Questions

Matrix survey questions allow respondents to evaluate multiple items using the same set of response options. Many companies combine matrix survey questions with Likert scales to make the survey easier to do.

  • “Please rate the following aspects of our service. (Customer support, Product quality, Delivery speed)”
  • “Evaluate your level of satisfaction with these website features. (Search functionality, Content relevance, User interface)”
  • “Rate the importance of the following factors in your purchasing decision. (Price, Brand, Reviews)”
  • “Assess your agreement with these statements about our company. (Innovative, Ethical, Customer-focused)”
  • “Rate your satisfaction with these aspects of our product. (Ease of use, Durability, Design)”
  • “Evaluate these aspects of our mobile app. (Performance, Security, Features)”
  • “Rate how well each of the following describes our brand. (Trustworthy, Innovative, Responsive)”
  • “Assess your satisfaction with these elements of our service. (Responsiveness, Accuracy, Friendliness)”
  • “Rate the effectiveness of these marketing channels for you. (Email, Social Media, Print Ads)”
  • “Evaluate your agreement with these workplace policies. (Flexibility, Diversity, Wellness initiatives)”

When to use matrix survey questions: Ask matrix survey questions when you want to make your survey more convenient to answer, as they allow multiple questions on various topics without repeating options. This is particularly helpful when you want to cover many points of interest in one survey.

9. Demographic Questions

Lastly, demographic questions collect basic information about respondents, aiding in data segmentation and analysis.

  • “What is your age?”
  • “What is your gender? (Male, Female, Prefer not to say, Other)”
  • “What is your highest level of education completed?”
  • “What is your employment status? (Employed, Self-employed, Unemployed, Student)”
  • “What is your household income range?”
  • “What is your marital status? (Single, Married, Divorced, Widowed)”
  • “How many people live in your household?”
  • “What is your ethnicity?”
  • “In which city and country do you currently reside?”
  • “What is your occupation?”

When to use demographic questions: From the survey question examples, you can easily tell that these questions aim to collect information on your respondents’ backgrounds, which will be helpful in creating buyer personas and improving market segmentation.

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Surveys can help you accomplish many things for your business, but only if you do it right. Creating the perfect survey isn’t just about crafting the best survey questions, you also have to:

1. Define Your Objectives

Before crafting your survey, be clear about what you want to achieve. Whether it’s understanding customer satisfaction, gauging interest in a new product, or collecting feedback on services, having specific objectives will guide your survey design and ensure you ask the right questions.

2. Know Your Audience

Understanding who your respondents are will help tailor the survey to their interests and needs, increasing the likelihood of participation. Consider demographics, behaviors, and preferences to make your survey relevant and engaging to your target audience.

3. Choose the Right Type of Survey Questions

Utilize a mix of the nine types of survey questions to gather a wide range of data. Balance open-ended questions for qualitative insights with closed-ended questions for easy-to-analyze quantitative data. Ensure each question aligns with your objectives and is clear and concise.

4. Keep It Short and Simple (KISS)

Respondents are more likely to complete shorter surveys. Aim for a survey that takes 5-10 minutes to complete, focusing on essential questions only. A straightforward and intuitive survey design encourages higher response rates.

5. Use Simple Language

Avoid technical jargon, complex words, or ambiguous terms. The language should be accessible to all respondents, ensuring that questions are understood as intended.

6. Ensure Anonymity and Confidentiality

Assure respondents that their answers are anonymous and their data will be kept confidential. This assurance can increase the honesty and accuracy of the responses you receive.

7. Test Your Survey

Pilot your survey with a small group before full deployment. This testing phase can help identify confusing questions, technical issues, or any other aspects of the survey that might hinder response quality or quantity.

8. Choose the Right Distribution Channels

Select the most effective channels to reach your target audience. This could be via email, social media, your website, or in-app notifications, depending on where your audience is most active and engaged.

9. Offer Incentives

Consider offering incentives to increase participation rates. Incentives can range from discounts, entry into a prize draw, or access to exclusive content. Ensure the incentive is relevant and appealing to your target audience.

10. Analyze and Act on the Data

After collecting the responses, analyze the data to extract meaningful insights. Use these insights to make informed decisions, implement changes, or develop strategies that align with your objectives. Sharing key findings and subsequent actions with respondents can also demonstrate the value of their feedback and encourage future participation.

11. Follow Up

Consider following up with respondents after the survey, especially if you promised to share results or if you’re conducting longitudinal studies. A follow-up can reinforce their importance to your research and maintain engagement over time.

12. Iterate and Improve

Surveys are not a one-time activity. Regularly conducting surveys and iterating based on previous feedback and results can help you stay aligned with your audience’s changing needs and preferences.

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These survey question examples are a great place to start in creating efficient and effective surveys. Why not take it a step further by integrating a  customer feedback tool  on your website?

FullSession  lets you collect instant visual feedback with an intuitive in-app survey. With this tool, you can:

  • Build unique surveys
  • Target feedback based on users’ devices or specific pages
  • Measure survey responses

Aside from FullSession’s customer feedback tool, you also gain access to:

  • Interactive heat maps: A  website heat map  shows you which items are gaining the most attention and which ones are not, helping you optimize UI and UX.
  • Session recordings: Watch  replays  or live sessions to see how users are navigating your website and pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Funnels and conversions: Analyze funnel data to figure out what’s causing  funnel drops  and what contributes to successful conversions.

fullsession pricing image

The FullSession platform offers a  14-day free trial.  It provides two paid plans—Basic and Business. Here are more details on each plan.

  • The Basic plan costs $39/month and allows you to monitor up to 5,000 monthly sessions.
  • The Business plan costs $149/month and helps you to track and analyze up to 25,000 monthly sessions.
  • The Enterprise plan starts from 100,000 monthly sessions and has custom pricing.

If you need more information, you can  get a demo.

It takes less than 5 minutes to set up your first website or app survey form, with  FullSession , and it’s completely free!

How many questions should I include in my survey?

Aim for 10-15 questions to keep surveys short and engaging, ideally taking 5-10 minutes to complete. Focus on questions that directly support your objectives.

How can I ensure my survey questions are not biased?

Use neutral language, avoid assumptions, balance answer choices, and pre-test your survey with a diverse group to identify and correct biases.

How do I increase my survey response rate?

To boost response rates, ensure your survey is concise and relevant to the audience. Use engaging questions, offer incentives where appropriate, and communicate the value of respondents’ feedback. Choose the right distribution channels to reach your target audience effectively.

how to write good survey questions for research

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Writing good survey questions: 10 best practices.

how to write good survey questions for research

August 20, 2023 2023-08-20

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Unfortunately, there is no simple formula for cranking out good, unbiased questionnaires.

That said, there are certainly common mistakes in survey design that can be avoided if you know what to look for. Below, I’ve provided the 10 most common and dangerous errors that can be made when designing a survey and guidelines for how to avoid them.

In This Article:

1. ask about the right things, 2. use language that is neutral, natural, and clear, 3. don’t ask respondents to predict behavior, 4. focus on closed-ended questions, 5. avoid double-barreled questions, 6. use balanced scales, 7. answer options should be all-inclusive and mutually exclusive, 8. provide an opt-out, 9. allow most questions to be optional, 10. respect your respondents, ask only questions that you need answered.

One of the easiest traps to fall into when writing a survey is to ask about too much. After all, you want to take advantage of this one opportunity to ask questions of your audience, right?

The most important thing to remember about surveys is to keep them short . Ask only about the things that are essential for answering your research questions. If you don’t absolutely need the information, leave it out.

Don’t Ask Questions that You Can Find the Answer to

When drafting a survey, many researchers slip into autopilot and start by asking a plethora of demographic questions . Ask yourself: do you need all that demographic information? Will you use it to answer your research questions? Even if you will use it, is there another way to capture it besides asking about it in a survey? For example, if you are surveying current customers, and they are providing their email addresses, could you look up their demographic information if needed?

Don’t Ask Questions that Respondents Can’t Answer Accurately

Surveys are best for capturing quantitative attitudinal data . If you’re looking to learn something qualitative or behavioral, there’s likely a method better suited to your needs. Asking the question in a survey is, at best, likely to introduce inefficiency in your process, and, at worst, will produce unreliable or misleading data.

For example, consider the question below:


If I were asked this question, I could only speculate about what might make a button stand out. Maybe a large size? Maybe a different color, compared to surrounding content? But this is merely conjecture. The only reliable way to tell if the button actually stood out for me would be to mock up the page and show it to me. This type of question would be better studied with other research methods, such as usability testing or A/B testing , but not with a survey.

Avoid Biasing Respondents

There are endless ways in which bias can be introduced into survey data , and it is the researcher’s task to minimize this bias as much as possible. For example, consider the wording of the following question.


By initially providing the context that the organization is committed to achieving a 5-star satisfaction rating , the survey creators are, in essence, pleading with the respondent to give them one. The respondent may feel guilty providing an honest response if they had a less than stellar experience.

Note also the use of the word satisfaction . This wording subtly biases the participant into framing their experience as a satisfactory one.

An alternative wording of the question might remove the first sentence altogether, and simply ask respondents to rate their experience.

Use Natural, Familiar Language

We must always be on the lookout for jargon in survey design. If respondents cannot understand your questions or response options, you will introduce bad data into your dataset. While we should strive to keep survey questions short and simple, it is sometimes necessary to provide brief definitions or descriptions when asking about complex topics, to prevent misunderstanding. Always pilot your questionnaires with the target audience to ensure that all jargon has been removed.

Speak to Respondents Like Humans

For some reason, when drafting a questionnaire, many researchers introduce unnecessary formality and flowery language into their questions. Resist this urge. Phrase questions as clearly and simply as possible, as though you were asking them in an interview format.

People are notoriously unreliable predictors of their own behavior. For various reasons, predictions are almost bound to be flawed, leading Jakob Nielsen to remind us to never listen to users .

Yet, requests for behavioral predictions are rampant in insufficiently thought-out UX surveys. Consider the question:  How likely are you to use this product? While a respondent may feel likely to use a product based on a description or a brief tutorial, their answer does not constitute a reliable prediction and should not be used to make critical product decisions.

Often, instead of future-prediction requests , you will see present-estimate requests : How often do you currently use this product in an average week? While this type of question avoids the problem of predictions, it still is unreliable. Users struggle to estimate based on some imaginary “average” week and will often, instead, recall outlier weeks, which are more memorable.

The best way to phrase a question like this is to ask for specific, recent memories : Approximately how many times did you use this product in the past 7 days? It is important to include the word approximately and to allow for ranges rather than exact numbers. Reporting an exact count of a past behavior is often either challenging or impossible, so asking for it introduces imprecise data. It can also make respondents more likely to drop off if they feel incapable of answering the question accurately.



Surveys are, at their core, a quantitative research method . They rely upon closed-ended questions (e.g., multiple-choice or rating-scale questions) to generate quantitative data. Surveys can also leverage open-ended questions (e.g., short-answer or long-answer questions) to generate qualitative data. That said, the best surveys rely upon closed-ended questions, with a smattering of open-ended questions to provide additional qualitative color and support to the mostly quantitative data.

If you find that your questionnaire relies overly heavily on open-ended questions, it might be a red flag that another qualitative-research method (e.g., interviews ) may serve your research aims better.

On the subject of open-ended survey questions, it is often wise to include one broad open-ended question at the end of your questionnaire . Many respondents will have an issue or piece of feedback in mind when they start a survey, and they’re simply waiting for the right question to come up. If no such question exists, they may end the survey experience with a bad taste. A final, optional, long-answer question with a prompt like Is there anything else you’d like to share? can help to alleviate this frustration and supply some potentially valuable data.

A double-barreled question asks respondents to answer two things at once. For example: How easy and intuitive was this website to use? Easy and intuitive , while related, are not synonymous, and, therefore, the question is asking the respondent to use a single rating scale to assess the website on two distinct dimensions simultaneously. By necessity, the respondent will either pick one of these words to focus on or try to assess both and estimate a midpoint “average” score. Neither of these will generate fully accurate or reliable data.

Therefore, double-barreled questions should always be avoided and, instead, split up into two separate questions.



Rating-scale questions are tremendously valuable in generating quantitative data in survey design. Often, a respondent is asked to rate their agreement with a statement on an agreement scale (e.g., Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Disagree ), or otherwise to rate something using a scale of adjectives (e.g., Excellent, Good, Neutral, Fair, Poo r).

You’ll notice that, in both of the examples given above, there is an equal number of positive and negative options (2 each), surrounding a neutral option. The equal number of positive and negative options means that the response scale is balanced and eliminates a potential source of bias or error.

In an unbalanced scale, you’ll see an unequal number of positive and negative options (e.g., Excellent, Very Good, Good, Poor, Very Poor ). This example contains 3 positive options and only 2 negative ones. It, therefore, biases the participant to select a positive option.


Answer options for a multiple-choice question should include all possible answers (i.e., all inclusive) and should not overlap (i.e., mutually exclusive). For example, consider the following question:


In this formulation, some possible answers are skipped (i.e., anyone who is over 50 won’t be able to select an answer). Additionally, some answers overlap (e.g., a 20-year-old could select either the first or second response).

Always doublecheck your numeric answer options to ensure that all numbers are included and none are repeated .

No matter how carefully and inclusively you craft your questions, there will always be respondents for whom none of the available answers are acceptable. Maybe they are an edge case you hadn’t considered. Maybe they don’t remember the answer. Or maybe they simply don’t want to answer that particular question. Always provide an opt-out answer in these cases to avoid bad data.

Opt-out answers can include things like the following: Not applicable , None of the above , I don’t know, I don’t recall , Other , or Prefer not to answer . Any multiple-choice question should include at least one of these answers. However, avoid the temptation to include one catch-all opt-out answer containing multiple possibilities . For example, an option labeled I don’t know / Not applicable  covers two very different responses with different meanings; combining them fogs your data.

It is so tempting to make questions required in a questionnaire. After all, we want the data! However, the choice to make any individual question required will likely lead to one of two unwanted results:

  • Bad Data: If a respondent is unable to answer a question accurately, but the question is required, they may select an answer at random. These types of answers will be impossible to detect and will introduce bad data into your study, in the form of random-response bias.
  • Dropoffs: The other option available to a participant unable to correctly answer a required question is to abandon the questionnaire. This behavior will increase the effort needed to reach the desired number of responses.

Therefore, before deciding to make any question required, consider if doing so is worth the risks of bad data and dropoffs.

In the field of user experience, we like to say that we are user advocates. That doesn’t just mean advocating for user needs when it comes to product decisions. It also means respecting our users any time we’re fortunate enough to interact with them.

Don’t Assume Negativity

This is particularly important when discussing health issues or disability. Phrasings such Do you suffer from hypertension? may be perceived as offensive. Instead, use objective wording such as Do you have hypertension?

Be Sensitive with Sensitive Topics

When asking about any topics that may be deemed sensitive, private, or offensive, first ask yourself: Does it really need to be asked? Often, we can get plenty of valuable information while omitting that topic.

Other times, it is necessary to delve into potentially sensitive topics. In these cases, be sure to choose your wording carefully. Ensure you’re using the current preferred terminology favored by members of the population you’re addressing. If necessary, consider providing a brief explanation for why you are asking about that particular topic and what benefit will come from responding.

Use Inclusive and Appropriate Wording for Demographic Questions

When asking about topics such as race, ethnicity, sex, or gender identity, use accurate and sensitive terminology. For example, it is no longer appropriate to offer a simple binary option for gender questions. At a minimum, a third option indicating an Other or Non-binary category is expected, as well as an opt-out answer for those that prefer not to respond.

An inclusive question is respectful of your users’ identities and allows them to answer only if they feel comfortable.

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How to write good survey questions

Good survey questions lead to good data. But what makes a survey question “good” and when is the right time to use specific types?

how to write good survey questions for research

At Pollfish, we have distributed tens of thousands of surveys and manually review them all, so we know a thing or two about writing good survey questions. Our experts have compiled a list of the essentials below into a sort-of questionnaire template to make sure you have what you need to create great surveys and get the highest-quality data. 

1. Have a goal in mind.

Consider what you’re trying to learn by conducting this survey. Do you have an idea that you want to validate, or are you hoping that you can disprove an assumption under which you have been operating? Surveys work best when they focus on one specific goal. When building the questionnaire for your survey, it is important to offer questions that support your goal. 

how to write good survey questions for research

2. Eliminate Jargon.

Just because a concept is clear to you doesn’t mean your target audience is always on the same page. A well-designed questionnaire contains good survey questions to be sure. But they also use plain language (no jargon) to explain concepts or acronyms that customers may be unfamiliar with and offer an opt-out for those who are unsure. Don’t be afraid to use more than one question or offer an example to ensure clarity on complex information in your questionnaire template— a confused audience leads to frustration and low-quality responses.

3. Make answer choices clear and distinct.

When multiple-choice answers are presented, the respondent must make a selection. If these responses overlap or are confusing for the respondent, the quality of the data decreases because they aren’t sure what is being asked of them. Make sure answers are distinct and specific whenever possible so the respondent can confidently choose the best answer.

4. Give users an “other” option.

Make sure that, in a multiple-choice sequence, you’ve given respondents the chance to opt out of the question if it doesn’t apply to them or if none of their answers fit. Provide an option like “no opinion,” “neutral,” or “none of the above.” You can also offer the option to select “other” and provide an open-ended response that can give you more context.

5. Avoid “yes/ no” screening questions.

Screening questions help you connect with a qualified audience at the beginning of the survey. When respondents select a qualified response, they will enter the rest of the survey. However, people are biased toward choosing “yes” or a positive response when presented with a yes/ no question, even if their real opinion is more neutral. To reduce bias, provide a list of answer choices with no indication that one is preferred over the others. 

6. Don’t ask two questions at once.

Each question should focus on obtaining a specific piece of information. When you ask two questions at once using “and” or “or,” you’re introducing another question, which may have a different answer. This will have one of two results: either you’ll confuse your respondents, who are forced to choose the right answer to one question; or your respondents will confuse you with their answers. Either way, make sure you write simple survey questions asking for separate pieces of information as separate questions. 

7. Use skip logic when applicable.

Skip logic , or branching, allows you to create multiple question paths based on an earlier answer. This means more qualified respondents will be asked to answer more in-depth questions and reduces answers like “don’t know” or “no opinion” later. 

8. Use different question types .

Respondents offer better and more thoughtful answers when they are engaged. And that means asking several types of research questions. Use ranking , matrix , open-ended, or multiple-choice questions to stimulate them and keep them interested, especially in a longer questionnaire. Different question types not only keep the respondents engaged (which can increase your completion rates ) but can also elicit different responses.

9. Shuffle answer choices for ranking, matrix, and multiple-choice questions.  

We are naturally inclined towards the first information we are presented with—the top answer— in a series of answer options. Shuffling the order of the answer choices reduces bias in responses. However, for answers that relate to one another—such as a Likert scale or timeline—it’s helpful to keep them in an order that flows logically to avoid confusion or misreading.

10. Add media or images to provide helpful context.

Media—such as images, video, or audio clips—provides another level of clarity to your survey questions. You can use these either to give added context to the question or offer media as an answer choice.

11. Always keep the audience in mind.

Remember as you are writing the questions to always keep your target audience in mind. The audience can be as broad as the “general population” or as narrow as you need it to be . The important thing is to know who you want to target so you can communicate with them effectively.

how to write good survey questions for research

Regardless of the types of survey questions you select, questions should be short, clear, and to the point, but also engage the respondent through multi-media and question types. Remember that the less confused your respondents are, the clearer your data will be. 

These best practices will help you write good survey questions on any platform, including our own. If you have additional questions specific to Pollfish, check out our resource center or reach out to our Support team to learn more.

Do you want to distribute your survey? Pollfish offers you access to millions of targeted consumers to get survey responses from $0.95 per complete. Launch your survey today.

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How to write survey questions for research – with examples

You are currently viewing How to write survey questions for research – with examples

  • Post author: Marta Costa
  • Post published: April 5, 2023
  • Post category: Data Collection & Data Quality

A good survey can make or break your research. Learn how to write strong survey questions, learn what not to do, and see a range of practical examples.

The accuracy and relevance of the data you collect depend largely on the quality of your survey questions . In other words, good questions make for good research outcomes.  It makes sense then, that you should put considerable thought and planning into writing your survey or questionnaire.

In this article, we’ll go through what a good survey question looks like, talk about the different kinds of survey questions that exist, give you some tips for writing a good survey question, and finally, we’ll take a look at some examples. 

What is a good survey question?

A good survey question should contain simple and clear language. It should elicit responses that are accurate and that help you learn more about your target audience and their experiences. It should also fit in with the overall design of your survey project and connect with your research objective. There are many different types of survey questions. Let’s take a look at some of them now. 

New to survey data collection? Explore SurveyCTO for free with a 15-day trial.

Types of survey questions

Different types of questions are used for different purposes. Often questionnaires or surveys will combine several types of questions. The types you choose will depend on the overall design of your survey and your aims.  Here is a list of the most popular kinds of survey questions:  

Example of an open-ended question which reads Please list the names and ages of members of your household in the text box below

These questions can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. They require the respondent to use more descriptive language to share their thoughts and answer the question. These types of questions result in qualitative data.


A closed-ended question is the opposite of an open-ended question. Here the respondent’s answers are normally restricted to a yes or no, true or false, or multiple-choice answer. This results in quantitative data.

how to write good survey questions for research


This is a type of closed-ended question. The defining characteristic of these questions is that they have two opposing fields. For example, a question that can only be answered with a yes/no answer is a dichotomous question. 

how to write good survey questions for research

Multiple choice

how to write good survey questions for research

These are another type of closed-ended question. Here you give the respondent several possible ways, or options, in which they can respond. It’s also common to have an “other” section with a text box where the respondent can provide an unlisted answer.

Rating scale

This is again another type of close-ended question. Here you would normally present two extremes and the respondent has to choose between these extremes or an option placed along the scale.

Likert scale

A Likert scale is a form of a rating scale. These are generally used to measure attitudes towards something by asking the respondent to agree or disagree with a statement. They are commonly used to measure satisfaction. 

how to write good survey questions for research

Ranking scale 

Here the respondents are given a few options and they need to order these different options in terms of importance, relevance, or according to the instructions.  

Demographic questions

These are often personal questions that allow you to better understand your respondents and their backgrounds. They normally cover questions related to age, race, marital status, education level, etc.

Public transport vehicles with colorful roofs in Kampala, Uganda

Ready to start creating your surveys? Sign up for a free 15-day trial.

7 Tips for writing a good survey question

The following 7 tips will help you to write a good survey question: 

1. Use clear, simple language

Your survey questions must be easy to understand. When they’re straight to the point, it’s more likely that your respondent will understand what you are asking of them and be able to respond accurately, giving you the data you need. 

2. Keep your questions (and answers) concise

When sentences or questions are convoluted or confusing, respondents might misunderstand the question. If your questions are too long, they may also get bored by the questions. And in your lists of answers for multiple choice questions, make sure your choice lists are concise as well.  If your questions are too long, or if you’ve provided too many options, you may receive responses that are inaccurate or that are not a true representation of how the respondent feels. To limit the number of options a respondent sees, you can use a survey platform like SurveyCTO to filter choice lists and make it easy for respondents to answer quickly. If you have an exceptionally long list of possible responses, like countries, implement search functionality in your list of choices so your respondents can quickly search for their selection.

3. Don’t add bias to your question

You should avoid leading your respondent in any particular direction with your questions, you want their response to be 100% their thoughts without being unduly influenced.  An example of a question that could lead the respondent in a particular direction would be:  How happy are you to live in this amazing area?  By adding the adjective amazing before area, you are putting the idea in the respondent’s head that the area is amazing. This could cloud their judgment and influence the way they answer the question. The word happy together with amazing may also be problematic. A better, less loaded way to ask this question might be something like this:  How satisfied are you living in this area?

4. Ask one question at a time

Asking multiple things in one question is confusing and will lead to inaccuracies in the answer. When you write your question you should know exactly what you want to achieve. This will help you to avoid combining two questions in one. Here is an example of a double-barrelled question that would be difficult for a respondent to answer: Please answer yes or no to the following question: Do you drive to work and do you carry any passengers? In this question, the respondent is being asked two things, yet they only have the opportunity to respond to one. Even then, they don’t know which one they should respond to. Avoid this kind of questioning to get clearer, more accurate data.

5. Account for all possible answer choices

You should give your respondent the ability to answer a question accurately. For instance, if you are asking a demographic question you’ll need to provide options that accurately reflect their experience. Below, you can see there is an “other” option with space where the respondent can answer how they see fit, in the case that they don’t fit into any of the other options. Which gender do you most identify with:

  • Prefer not to say
  • Other [specify]

6. Plan the question flow and choose your questions carefully

Question writing goes hand-in-hand with questionnaire design. So, when writing survey questions, you should consider the survey as a whole. For example, if you write a close-ended question like:  Were you satisfied with the customer service you received when you bought x product? You might want to follow it up with an open-ended question such as:   Please explain the reason for your answer: This will help you draw out more information from your respondent that can help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your customer service team.  Making sure your questions flow in a logical order is also important. 

For instance, if you ask a question regarding the total cost of a person’s childcare arrangements, but you’re unaware if they have children, you should first ask if they have children and how many.  It’s also a good idea to start your survey with short, easy-to-answer, non-sensitive questions before moving on to something more complex. This way there is more chance you’ll engage your audience early on and make it more likely that they’ll continue with the survey. You should also consider whether you need qualitative or quantitative data for your research outcomes or a mix of the two. This will help you decide the balance of closed-ended and open-ended questions you use.   With close-ended questions, you get quantitative data. This data will be fairly conclusive and simple to analyze. It can be useful when you need to measure specific variables or metrics like population sizes, education levels, literacy levels, etc. 

An enumerator conducting a phone interview using a tablet connected with headsets. The tablet is on a table

On the other hand, qualitative data gained by open-ended questions can be full of insights. However, these questions can be more laborious for the respondent to complete making it more likely for them to skip through or give a token answer. They’re also more complex to analyze.

7. Test your surveys

Before a questionnaire goes anywhere near a respondent, it needs to be checked over. Mistakes in your survey questions can give inaccurate results. They can also waste time and resources.  Having an impartial person check your questions can also help prevent bias. So, not only should you check your work, but you should also share it with colleagues for them to check.  After checking your survey questions, make sure to check the functionality and flow of your survey. If you’re building your form in SurveyCTO, you can use our form testing interface to catch errors, make quick fixes, and test your workflows with real data.

IFPRI agricultural field project with people seating in pairs under some trees during survey interviews

Examples of good survey questions

Now that we’ve gone through some dos and don’ts for writing survey questions, we can move on to more practical examples of how a good survey question should look. To keep these specific to the research world we’ll look at three categories of questions. 

  • Household survey questions 
  • Monitoring and evaluation survey questions 
  • Impact evaluation survey questions

1. Household Survey Questions

2. monitoring and evaluation survey questions , 3. impact evaluation questions .


Strong survey questions lead to better research outcomes

Writing good survey questions is essential if you want to achieve your research aims.  A good survey question should be clear, concise, and contain simple language. They should be free of bias and not lead the respondent in any direction. Your survey questions need to complement each other, engage your audience and connect back to the overall objectives of your research.  Creating survey questions and survey designs is a large part of your research, however, is just a part of the puzzle. When your questions are ready, you’ll need to conduct your survey and then find a way to manage your data and workflow. Take a look at this post to see more ways SurveyCTO can help you beyond writing your research survey questions. 

Your next steps: Explore more resources

To keep reading about how SurveyCTO can help you design better surveys, take a look at these resources:  

  • Sign up here to get notified about our monthly webinars, where organizations like IDinsight  share best practices for effective surveys.
  • Check out previous webinars from SurveyCTO about survey forms, like this one on high-frequency checks for monitoring surveys. 
  • Sign up for a free trial of SurveyCTO for your next survey project.

To see how SurveyCTO can help you with your survey needs, start a free 15-day trial today. No credit card required. 

Post author avatar

Marta Costa

Senior Product Specialist

Marta is a member of the Customer Success team for Dobility. She helps users working at NGOs, nonprofits, survey firms, universities and research institutes achieve their objectives using SurveyCTO, and works on new ways to help users get the most out of the platform.

Marta has worked in international development consultancy and research, supporting and coordinating impact evaluations, monitoring and evaluation projects, and data collection processes at the national level in areas such as education, energy access, and financial inclusion.

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  • Questionnaire Design Tip Sheet

This PSR Tip Sheet provides some basic tips about how to write good survey questions and design a good survey questionnaire.

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Great survey questions: How to write them & avoid common mistakes

Great survey questions: How to write them & avoid common mistakes

Guest Post by Sarah Fisher

Originally posted @

Learning how to write survey questions is both art and science. The wording you choose can make the difference between accurate, useful data and just the opposite. Fortunately, we’ve got a raft of tips to help.

Figuring out how to make a good survey that yields actionable insights is all about sweating the details. And writing effective questionnaire questions is the first step.

Essential for success is understanding the different types of survey questions and how they work. Each format needs a slightly different approach to question-writing.

In this article, we’ll share how to write survey questionnaires and list some common errors to avoid so you can improve your surveys and the data they provide.

Free eBook: The Qualtrics survey template guide

Survey question types

Did you know that Qualtrics provides  23 question types you can use in your surveys ? Some are very popular and used frequently by a wide range of people from students to market researchers, while others are more specialist and used to explore complex topics. Here’s an introduction to some basic survey question formats, and how to write them well.

Multiple choice

Familiar to many, multiple choice questions ask a respondent to pick from a range of options. You can set up the question so that only one selection is possible, or allow more than one to be ticked.

When writing a multiple choice question…

  • Be clear about whether the survey taker should choose one (“pick only one”) or several (“select all that apply”).
  • Think carefully about the options you provide, since these will shape your results data.
  • The phrase “of the following” can be helpful for setting expectations. For example, if you ask “What is your favorite meal” and provide the options “hamburger and fries”, “spaghetti and meatballs”, there’s a good chance your respondent’s true favorite won’t be included. If you add “of the following” the question makes more sense.

Asking participants to rank things in order, whether it’s order of preference, frequency or perceived value, is done using a rank structure. There can be a variety of interfaces, including drag-and-drop, radio buttons, text boxes and more.

When writing a rank order question…

  • Explain how the interface works and what the respondent should do to indicate their choice. For example “drag and drop the items in this list to show your order of preference.”
  • Be clear about which end of the scale is which. For example, “With the best at the top, rank these items from best to worst”
  • Be as specific as you can about how the respondent should consider the options and how to rank them. For example, “thinking about the last 3 months’ viewing, rank these TV streaming services in order of quality, starting with the best”

Slider structures ask the respondent to move a pointer or button along a scale, usually a numerical one, to indicate their answers.

When writing a slider question…

  • Consider whether the question format will be intuitive to your respondents, and whether you should add help text such as “click/tap and drag on the bar to select your answer”
  • Qualtrics includes the option for an open field where your respondent can type their answer instead of using a slider. If you offer this, make sure to reference it in the survey question so the respondent understands its purpose.

Also known as an open field question, this format allows survey-takers to answer in their own words by typing into the comments box.

When writing a text entry question…

  • Use open-ended question structures like “How do you feel about…” “If you said x, why?” or “What makes a good x?”
  • Open-ended questions take more effort to answer, so use these types of questions sparingly.
  • Be as clear and specific as possible in how you frame the question. Give them as much context as you can to help make answering easier. For example, rather than “How is our customer service?”, write “Thinking about your experience with us today, in what areas could we do better?”

Matrix table

Matrix structures allow you to address several topics using the same rating system, for example a Likert scale (Very satisfied / satisfied / neither satisfied nor dissatisfied / dissatisfied / very dissatisfied).

When writing a matrix table question…

  • Make sure the topics are clearly differentiated from each other, so that participants don’t get confused by similar questions placed side by side and answer the wrong one.
  • Keep text brief and focused. A matrix includes a lot of information already, so make it easier for your survey-taker by using plain language and short, clear phrases in your matrix text.
  • Add detail to the introductory static text if necessary to help keep the labels short. For example, if your introductory text says “In the Philadelphia store, how satisfied were you with the…” you can make the topic labels very brief, for example “staff friendliness” “signage” “price labeling” etc.

Now that you know your rating scales from your open fields, here are the 7 most common mistakes to avoid when you write questions. We’ve also added plenty of survey question examples to help illustrate the points.

Likert Scale Questions

Likert scales are commonly used in market research when dealing with single topic surveys. They’re simple and most reliable when combatting survey bias . For each question or statement, subjects choose from a range of possible responses. The responses, for example, typically include:

  • Strongly agree
  • Strongly disagree

7 survey question examples to avoid.

There are countless great examples of writing survey questions but how do you know if your types of survey questions will perform well? We’ve highlighted the 7 most common mistakes when attempting to get customer feedback with online surveys.

Survey question mistake #1: Failing to avoid leading words / questions

Subtle wording differences can produce great differences in results. For example, non-specific words and ideas can cause a certain level of confusing ambiguity in your survey. “Could,” “should,” and “might” all sound about the same, but may produce a 20% difference in agreement to a question.

In addition, strong words such as “force” and “prohibit” represent control or action and can bias your results.

Example:  The government should force you to pay higher taxes.

No one likes to be forced, and no one likes higher taxes. This agreement scale question makes it sound doubly bad to raise taxes. When survey questions read more like normative statements than questions looking for objective feedback, any ability to measure that feedback becomes difficult.

Wording alternatives can be developed. How about simple statements such as: The government should increase taxes, or the government needs to increase taxes.

Example:  How would you rate the career of legendary outfielder Joe Dimaggio?

This survey question tells you Joe Dimaggio is a legendary outfielder. This type of wording can bias respondents.

How about replacing the word “legendary” with “baseball” as in: How would you rate the career of baseball outfielder Joe Dimaggio? A rating scale question like this gets more accurate answers from the start.

Survey question mistake #2: Failing to give mutually exclusive choices

Multiple choice response options should be mutually exclusive so that respondents can make clear choices. Don’t create ambiguity for respondents.

Review your survey and identify ways respondents could get stuck with either too many or no single, correct answers to choose from.

Example:  What is your age group?

What answer would you select if you were 10, 20, or 30? Survey questions like this will frustrate a respondent and invalidate your results.

Example:  What type of vehicle do you own?

This question has the same problem. What if the respondent owns a truck, hybrid, convertible, cross-over, motorcycle, or no vehicle at all?

Survey question mistake #3: Not asking direct questions

Questions that are vague and do not communicate your intent can limit the usefulness of your results. Make sure respondents know what you’re asking.

Example:  What suggestions do you have for improving Tom’s Tomato Juice?

This question may be intended to obtain suggestions about improving taste, but respondents will offer suggestions about texture, the type of can or bottle, about mixing juices, or even suggestions relating to using tomato juice as a mixer or in recipes.

Example:  What do you like to do for fun?

Finding out that respondents like to play Scrabble isn’t what the researcher is looking for, but it may be the response received. It is unclear that the researcher is asking about movies vs. other forms of paid entertainment. A respondent could take this question in many directions.

Survey question mistake #4: Forgetting to add a “prefer not to answer” option

Sometimes respondents may not want you to collect certain types of information or may not want to provide you with the types of information requested.

Questions about income, occupation, personal health, finances, family life, personal hygiene, and personal, political, or religious beliefs can be too intrusive and be rejected by the respondent.

Privacy is an important issue to most people. Incentives and assurances of confidentiality can make it easier to obtain private information.

While current research does not support that PNA (Prefer Not to Answer) options increase data quality or response rates, many respondents appreciate this non-disclosure option.

Furthermore, different cultural groups may respond differently. One recent study found that while U.S. respondents skip sensitive questions, Asian respondents often discontinue the survey entirely.

  • What is your race?
  • What is your age?
  • Did you vote in the last election?
  • What are your religious beliefs?
  • What are your political beliefs?
  • What is your annual household income?

These types of questions should be asked only when absolutely necessary. In addition, they should always include an option to not answer. (e.g. “Prefer Not to Answer”).

Survey question mistake #5: Failing to cover all possible answer choices

Do you have all of the options covered? If you are unsure, conduct a pretest version of your survey using “Other (please specify)” as an option.

If more than 10% of respondents (in a pretest or otherwise) select “other,” you are probably missing an answer. Review the “Other” text your test respondents have provided and add the most frequently mentioned new options to the list.

Example:  You indicated that you eat at Joe’s fast food once every 3 months. Why don’t you eat at Joe’s more often?

 There isn’t a location near my house

 I don’t like the taste of the food

 Never heard of it

This question doesn’t include other options, such as healthiness of the food, price/value or some “other” reason. Over 10% of respondents would probably have a problem answering this question.

Survey question mistake #6: Not using unbalanced scales carefully

Unbalanced scales may be appropriate for some situations and promote bias in others.

For instance, a hospital might use an Excellent – Very Good – Good – Fair scale where “Fair” is the lowest customer satisfaction point because they believe “Fair” is absolutely unacceptable and requires correction.

The key is to correctly interpret your analysis of the scale.  If “Fair” is the lowest point on a scale, then a result slightly better than fair is probably not a good one.

Additionally, scale points should represent equi-distant points on a scale. That is, they should have the same equal conceptual distance from one point to the next.

For example,  researchers have shown the points to be nearly equi-distant on the strongly disagree–disagree–neutral–agree–strongly agree scale.

Set your bottom point as the worst possible situation and top point as the best possible, then evenly spread the labels for your scale points in-between.

Example:  What is your opinion of Crazy Justin’s auto-repair?

 Pretty good


 The Best Ever

This question puts the center of the scale at fantastic, and the lowest possible rating as “Pretty Good.” This question is not capable of collecting true opinions of respondents.

Survey question mistake #7: Not asking only one question at a time

There is often a temptation to ask multiple questions at once. This can cause problems for respondents and influence their responses.

Review each question and make sure it asks only one clear question.

Example: What is the fastest and most economical internet service for you?

This is really asking two questions. The fastest is often not the most economical.

Example: How likely are you to go out for dinner and a movie this weekend?

 Dinner and Movie

 Dinner Only

 Movie Only

Even though “dinner and a movie” is a common term, this is two questions as well. It is best to separate activities into different questions or give respondents these options:

5 more tips on how to write a survey

Here are 5 easy ways to help ensure your survey results are unbiased and actionable.

1. Use the Funnel Technique

Structure your questionnaire using the “funnel” technique. Start with broad, general interest questions that are easy for the respondent to answer. These questions serve to warm up the respondent and get them involved in the survey before giving them a challenge. The most difficult questions are placed in the middle – those that take time to think about and those that are of less general interest. At the end, we again place general questions that are easier to answer and of broad interest and application. Typically, these last questions include demographic and other classification questions.

2. Use “Ringer” questions

In social settings, are you more introverted or more extroverted?

That was a ringer question and its purpose was to recapture your attention if you happened to lose focus earlier in this article.

Questionnaires often include “ringer” or “throw away” questions to increase interest and willingness to respond to a survey. These questions are about hot topics of the day and often have little to do with the survey. While these questions will definitely spice up a boring survey, they require valuable space that could be devoted to the main topic of interest. Use this type of question sparingly.

3. Keep your questionnaire short

Questionnaires should be kept short and to the point. Most long surveys are not completed, and the ones that are completed are often answered hastily. A quick look at a survey containing page after page of boring questions produces a response of, “there is no way I’m going to complete this thing”. If a questionnaire is long, the person must either be very interested in the topic, an employee, or paid for their time. Web surveys have some advantages because the respondent often can’t view all of the survey questions at once. However, if your survey’s navigation sends them page after page of questions, your response rate will drop off dramatically.

How long is too long?  The sweet spot is to keep the survey to less than five minutes. This translates into about 15 questions. The average respondent is able to complete about 3 multiple choice questions per minute. An open-ended text response question counts for about three multiple choice questions depending, of course, on the difficulty of the question. While only a rule of thumb, this formula will accurately predict the limits of your survey.

4. Watch your writing style

The best survey questions are always easy to read and understand. As a rule of thumb, the level of sophistication in your survey writing should be at the 9th to 11th grade level. Don’t use big words. Use simple sentences and simple choices for the answers. Simplicity is always best.

5. Use randomization

We know that being the first on the list in elections increases the chance of being elected. Similar bias occurs in all questionnaires when the same answer appears at the top of the list for each respondent. Randomization corrects this bias by randomly rotating the order of the multiple choice matrix questions for each respondent.

Free Templates: Get free access to 30+ of Qualtrics’ best survey templates

While not totally inclusive, these seven survey question tips are common offenders in building good survey questions. And the five tips above should steer you in the right direction.

Focus on creating clear questions and having an understandable, appropriate, and complete set of answer choices.  Great questions and great answer choices lead to great research success.  To learn more about survey question design, download our eBook,  The Qualtrics survey template guide   or get started with a   free survey  account with our world-class   survey software .

Sarah Fisher


Sarah Fisher is a writer and content strategist based in the UK. She writes for Qualtrics on topics like technology, marketing, research and analytics, people management, product development and branding. She enjoys working with subject matter experts and finding new angles and compelling stories hidden in data. Sarah has a special interest in UX and UX writing


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How To Write Good Survey Questions (With Examples)

How To Write Good Survey Questions (With Examples)

If you've ever analyzed your survey responses in anticipation only to find that the majority of the responses are lacking in usable insights, you'll know how disappointing that can be.

What makes it especially frustrating is that you often have to start all over again, wasting both time and money.

Luckily, there's a solution to this problem.

Often, the root cause of lackluster results is ineffective survey questions.

By asking the right survey questions from the get-go, you can achieve the customer feedback and insights you need the first time around and avoid duplicating efforts.

In this guide, we'll go over what a good survey question is, and how to write questions that deliver great results, followed by some examples. 

What Is a Good Survey Question?

Popular types of survey questions, how to write great survey questions.

A good survey question is one that gives you useful information regarding your customer, employee, or target audience.

This is information that tells you how they feel about certain aspects of your business. It can then be used to improve your products, services, or overall experience.

A good survey question is also one that is asked at just the right moment, so that it's relevant and elicits an accurate and honest response.

On a high level, good survey questions should get you closer to meeting your business goals.

Wait, Can Survey Questions Ever Be Bad?

The answer is a resounding yes. The phrasing, timing, and the type of question used in a particular order or context can determine whether your survey question is any good.

Here are some common issues you could face with bad survey questions:

  • Empty responses with no insights.
  • The respondent is confused by the question. 
  • Responses that have been influenced by bias in the question.

Simply put, a bad survey question will give you bad survey data .

The good news is that even if you've faced these pitfalls before, there are steps you can take to avoid them again.

Before we dive into how to write great survey questions , let's go over some examples of types of survey questions.

There are a number of different survey questions to choose from. It's often good to mix different types within a survey as they fulfill different purposes.

Let's take a look at the best types of survey questions:

  • Open-ended questions
  • Closed-ended questions
  • Nominal questions
  • Likert scale questions
  • Rating scale (Or Ordinal) questions
  • Yes or No questions
  • Demographic survey questions

1. Open-ended Questions

Open-ended questions are those that are phrased in a way that allows your customer space to respond in their own words. When they can respond openly, you get qualitative data.

This data tends to be richer in detail and, if you analyze your survey results correctly, it will bring you deeper, original insights.

Here are some examples of good open-ended questions:

  • What could we have done better today?
  • What would have improved your recent interaction with our team?  
  • How does our product/service compare to the competition?

Here's a real-life example of an open-ended question from Nordstrom's customer satisfaction survey:

Survey question: what else would you like to share with us about your experience? Text box: Type your answer here.

This type of question delivers in-depth voice of customer data about the customer experience -- giving the customer the opportunity to express opinions about the the retail giant in their own words.

2. Closed-ended Questions 

Closed-ended questions are the opposite of open-ended questions. The answers that the respondents can give are restricted and you get to define the options that they can choose from.

The positive here is that the customer doesn't have to put much brain power into answering because the responses are already there.

Close-ended questions are also a great way to open a survey and get your customer engaged before you ask them more in-depth questions.

When asking close-ended questions, choices should be kept to a minimum (4 or 5) otherwise your respondents might face a kind of decision paralysis and not respond.

There are a number of different question types which fall into the closed-ended question category. Here is an example of a rating scale question:

How satisfied were you with the attention you received today in our store:

  • Very satisfied
  • Unsatisfied  
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied  
  • Very dissatisfied

And here is an example of a yes/no question:

Did we resolve your query today?

And here is a real life example of a closed-ended question:

A rating scale question from Apple asking how their sales assistant Michael did and how their recent shopping experience was.

3. Nominal Questions

Nominal questions are a form of closed-ended questions where the respondent is given multiple options to respond with. Some nominal questions even ask the respondent to rank a set of responses in a specific order.

The pros of nominal questions are that they're easy for your respondents to complete and work well when you only have a limited amount of variables.

Where they fall short is when you have a lot of variables and when the respondent's answer falls outside of the options you have given them. This can be remedied by adding a free-form other section as one of the choices.

Here's an example:

What is your favorite soda: 

  • Coca-Cola  
  • Coke Zero Sugar

What did you enjoy most during your recent visit to our gym?

  • The fixed equipment  
  • The free-weights area  
  • The changing facilities  
  • The onsite trainers  

Here's an example of what a nominal survey would look like in real life:

An example of a nominal question from Nordstrom's CSAT survey, asking: what was your primary reason for visiting the site? Followed by a number of  close-ended responses.

4. Likert Scale Questions

This is a closed-ended question. A Likert scale is one which provides the customer with a rating scale to answer the question. 

A Likert scale is most commonly seen in Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) questions.  

Here is an example of how it would look in the case of the CSAT: 

How would you rate your satisfaction on a scale of 0-5, with 0 being extremely unsatisfied and 5 being extremely satisfied.

And here is an example of a Likert scale in a Net Promoter Score survey: 

An NPS survey question from WISE asking the customer how likely they would be to recommend them to a friend.

5. Rating scale (Or Ordinal) question

A rating scale, or ordinal question, asks respondents to choose a rating on a numbered scale or from a predetermined list. This allows you to judge their perception of aspects of your business.

Here's an example of a Likert scale survey question: 

Survey question asking how was your delivery experience? And: how likely would you be to recommend Target to a friend or family member on a scale of not at all likely to extremely likely.

A Likert scale question is a form of ordinal question but there are many others.

Rating scale questions fall into two categories, these are:

Unipolar Rating Scale Questions

Bipolar rating scale questions.

Unipolar scales generally ask the respondent to choose between something that is present and something that is missing. 

An example of this would be a scale that goes from not at all interested to extremely interested. The interest is what is either present or missing in this case. Very satisfied and not at all satisfied is another example of the two extremes of a unipolar rating scale. 

Here's an example where what is present or absent is the likelihood that they will use the product again:

How likely are you to use our product again?

  • Very unlikely
  • Neither likely nor unlikely
  • Very likely

Bipolar rating scale questions, on the other hand, relate to how respondents feel in regards to a particular statement. An example of this is 'strongly disagree' and 'strongly agree'.

This is also an example of a bipolar survey question: 

The process for returning your purchase was straightforward.

  • Strongly agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Strongly disagree

6. 'Yes' or 'No' Questions

These are simple questions that are easy for respondents to complete. However, they don't tend to yield many insights so you should always follow them up with an open-ended question .  Some ways this question can be used are as follows: 

Did our customer service representative solve your query today? Yes/No Were you happy with your purchase of [product/service] ? Yes/No

Here you can see how retailer Target embed a quick yes/no question onto their site while also adding open-ended questions.

A survey from Target asking if the customer found what they were looking for and in the case they didn't a drop down of reasons why not.

In the case that the customer chooses no, they receive a close-ended, nominal question. When they answer this question, they're also given the chance to expand on their answer in a free-text box. 

A survey from Target asking the customer to expand on why they weren't able to find what they were looking for.

They also added a free-text box in the case that the customer chooses yes, with the language in the text box changing to reflect the respondents initial response: 

A survey question from Target asking their customer to explain further about their experience finding what they were looking for.

7. Demographic Survey Questions

Demographic questions are any kind of question that helps you paint a picture of who your customer or target audience is. This is especially useful information when you're trying to build a buyer persona.

Some examples of demographic survey questions include asking for:

  • Place of residence 
  • Marital status 

Here's an example of a survey from the email newsletter site, Morning Brew in which they ask a few demographic questions to get to know their audience better.

Demographic survey asking for name, job level, job function, organization and to click next.

Check out this guide for even more examples of great survey questions.

To maximize the quality responses you get back, you should follow these survey writing best practices. It's also worth paying attention to what you shouldn't do.

The Dos and Don'ts of Asking Good Survey Questions

Think like your customers. Imagine what it is they might be going through and how you can best communicate with them. If it's their first time purchasing your product a follow-up survey asking if they have any feedback might be helpful. If they've just had a frustrating call with customer service they'll likely prefer a solution-oriented call over an automated email survey.

Time your surveys well. When a survey is specific to a particular interaction it's always best to follow up in a timely way. The customer's experience is likely to be fresh in their minds and they'll be able to provide more accurate, detailed answers. You should also send the survey to them in a format that makes sense, if they're using the app, deliver it there, or if they're on the phone you can add it at the end of the call.

Speak their language. Avoid any kind of confusing jargon or buzzwords in your surveys and stick to plain language. You should also keep the tone in line with the rest of your marketing materials so that it feels familiar and consistent.

Start simple. You don't want to ask too much of your customer in your first question. Ease them into the survey with an easy-to-understand and low-effort question, this way there's more chance that they'll keep going.

Test your surveys. Send your survey out to a select group and see if your questions achieve the results you are hoping for. It might even help you catch some errors or typos.

Ask both close-ended and open-ended questions. Close-ended questions are easy for customers to complete. They can also act as the perfect lead onto open-ended questions, which return the deepest insights.   

Ask too many questions. Asking too many questions is a sure fire way to make customers abandon the survey halfway through. This is known as survey fatigue which is when someone gets tired of answering questions and stops completing the survey halfway through.

Ask loaded questions. This means wording your question so that the respondent is pushed to answer in a way that doesn't reflect their feelings. This might be something like: Why are you happy doing business with us? Your customer might not actually be that happy and you're missing finding out about why they're unhappy when you make assumptions.

Use polar questions. Similar to loaded questions, these questions nudge your respondents in certain ways through their phrasing. They might imply a certain sentiment, i.e. tell us what you like/dislike about our product. This question restricts your customer to commenting on just likes and dislikes when what they feel might not fit into those binary fields. 

Ask two questions in one. This could look like: How would you rate your satisfaction with our product and customer service? This is confusing for your customer as they don't know which element to answer. It will also lead to bad survey data because you won't be able to accurately analyze survey responses to this question.

Use only questions that elicit "Yes", "No". Yes/no questions restrict what your respondent can tell you and mean less insights. Instead choose a different kind of closed-ended question, follow up with an open-ended question, or rephrase so that you ask an open-ended question without needing the initial close-ended question. For example, instead of asking: Did customer support solve your issue? choose something like: How did you find your customer service experience?

Survey Question Takeaways

The quality of your questions will determine the outcome of your survey and how much it helps you towards meeting your business goals.

Asking good survey questions leads to good business outcomes, it's as simple as that.

However, to get to the insights that lie within your survey data, you'll need to first analyze the results. This can become tricky when you don't have the right tools.

You have thousands of good survey responses, so what's next?

Analyzing the quantitative data from your closed-end questions can usually be done manually with simple tools like excel.

However, in order to process thousands of open-ended responses, you'll need automated survey analysis tools like MonkeyLearn.

MonkeyLearn uses the power of AI to analyze huge amounts of data in seconds. All you need is over 10,000 survey responses to get started. Why? Because AI tools need data to learn from to make accurate predictions.

Once you're ready to get started, choose from a series of no-code text analysis templates that run your survey data through pre-set text analysis techniques .

Sign up for your free demo today to see how MonkeyLearn can make analyzing your open-ended survey results a breeze.

how to write good survey questions for research

Rachel Wolff

February 15th, 2022

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How to write a good survey question: Well-written examples

  • February 24, 2022
  • 12 min read
  • Best practice

What are the most common types of survey questions?

1. demographic questions: everything you need to know about the audience, 2. dichotomous yes or no questions: simple but of great importance, 3. multiple-choice questions: give respondents more options, 4. rating scale questions or ordinal scale questions, 5. likert scale questions/satisfaction scale questions, 6. open-ended questions give respondents space to voice their opinion, developing questions: the correct words are crucial, question order and how it can impact results, how to avoid mistakes when choosing survey questions, 1. demographic survey questions, 2. questions about a product or a service, 3. open-ended questions, some good survey question examples, what are five good survey questions, final thoughts on creating good survey questions, start writing good survey questions with surveyplanet.

Perhaps you’re wondering, “What are good survey questions and how do I write them?”

Good survey questions are key to successful research. Whether in need of quality market or product research or simply wanting to find out more about what customers are thinking, surveys are the way to go.

For a survey question to be superior, it must provide the correct information about customers, products, or services. That is, provide the information—at a certain phase in your business’s growth arc—that will help improve products, customer relations, and overall business operations.

How to write good survey questions, including the correct amount of questions so the needed information is gathered while the survey isn’t too long that that it bores respondents?

We have some good news. That is exactly what we are going to cover in this article.

Before diving into methods and examples of good survey questions, it is important to first learn the underlying theory.

There are two main types of survey questions: closed-ended and open-ended.

Close-ended questions have predefined answers. They offer respondents a set of answers to choose from.

Open-ended questions gather the opinions, needs, and interests of customers or clients, with the way such surveys are constructed and questions asked of great importance.

This article will explain what makes a good survey question and introduce the do’s and don’ts of writing surveys. Last but not least, examples of well-written survey questions that serve their purpose and which can be used in your next round of research are provided.

What are good survey questions and how to write them?

Wondering which type of question is best? The answer is rather simple: both types have their advantages and disadvantages.

Closed-ended questions are easier to analyze but provide limited data. Since the answers are not actually written by respondents, there is the risk of not finding out what customers really think.

With open-ended questions, respondents have more opportunities to voice their opinions and answer in the way they want. Even though this data will be harder to analyze, it can give valuable insight into respondents’ true opinions and feelings.

To get the best results, it is important to have both question types in surveys. Lucky for you, SurveyPlanet offers the amazing feature of exporting survey results , which makes it easier to analyze the data gathered.

This is the type of question most surveys begin with. There is a good reason behind this. Some very important data about respondents is collected, such as gender, age, race, education level, income, etc.

Why is this data important?

Because it provides valuable insights into the target audience. For example, understanding their backgrounds, interests, and habits can greatly impact how to approach them.

Demographic questions are definitely useful and should be used in surveys.

These are probably the most common survey questions. The logic behind them is very simple: the respondent is presented with a question or statement about a product or service and has a two-answer response to choose from: yes or no, true or false, or agree or disagree.

Even though dichotomous questions are technically multiple-choice questions , the term multiple-choice question is generally understood to mean questions that offer more than a two-answer option.

These questions are very helpful for making surveys more specific and in-depth.

Additionally, respondents can be directed to select only one answer (single-select question) or more than one answer (multi-select question).

Now we’ve come to scale-type questions . They are also very popular in the survey-making community.

With these, respondents are asked to rate a certain product or service and disclose the likelihood of their recommending a product using a particular scale. The scale can have different ranges: 1 to 5, 1 to 10, 0 to 100, etc.

Though you may not have known what they’re called, you’ve seen these many times.

Likert scale questions present respondents with a scale measuring their satisfaction on a certain topic. This can be a product, a service, or a potential innovation. The answers from which to choose range from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” (or “very satisfied” to “very dissatisfied”).

The answers will show the degree of satisfaction with a particular subject. That’s why they are the best questions for customer satisfaction surveys , employee satisfaction surveys , or any other attempt to measure the degree of satisfaction or agreement.

These questions allow respondents to share their opinions freely, rather than choosing an answer prepared for them. Such questions provide the opportunity to ascertain respondents’ feelings and opinions, all phrased in their own words.

If you want to gather qualitative instead of just quantitative data, then be sure to ask open-ended questions.

Now that we’ve covered the most common types of survey questions, it’s time to get familiar with some good survey question examples.

How to write good survey questions

In order to come up with the best survey questions, first determine which type of survey to use (here are some survey examples to get started with).

After deciding what a survey is going to concentrate on—such as customer opinion regarding a product or service, employee satisfaction, event planning, or feedback from students—it is time to decide how the questions are going to be formulated.

Pay attention to every single question. Decide on the type of feedback desired and use questions that address major problems, while also exploring less obvious issues (since these can have a negative impact on a business as well).

To create the best survey questions, be aware of the problems that frequently crop up when formulating them. Here are some common problems:

The wording of questions is important to the success of surveys. If respondents misunderstand questions, they might choose an answer that does not actually match their opinion. This will give false feedback, which can’t be used—or worse, will be used to your disadvantage.

The usual practice is to ask demographic questions first, especially when these are needed to determine if the respondent is eligible to participate.

It is also important to pay attention to the order of questions. Namely, some research suggests that the way questions are arranged can impact how people answer them.

For example, it has been shown that questions asked early in a survey can impact how later ones are answered. This is the order effect. There can be a great difference in the answers because of their order (contrast effect) or they may be too similar (assimilation effect).

The basic advice is to keep questions short and easy to understand, while not being misleading. Use simple and straightforward language. Make questions neutral so they don’t lead respondents to choose a certain answer.

Additionally, when using a positive statement in a survey, give a countervailing negative statement later to create balance.

Ask mostly closed-ended questions, with just a few open-ended ones. Also, let answering be optional since respondents might not have an answer for every question. You don’t want to lose all the other valuable feedback just because a couple of questions are left blank.

And don’t ask for two things at the same time, while grouping questions by topic in a logical order. Keep surveys interesting and engaging, and don’t make them too long. Instead of asking too many questions, make the ones being asked more specific.

There are a couple of exciting tools we’ve developed for these purposes, one being the branching questions feature . With it, you can exclude unnecessary questions by selecting ones that will be shown to certain respondents based on how they answered previous questions.

It is also important that surveys are anonymous. Otherwise, there is a high chance that common survey errors like “yea-saying” bias, extreme responding, or social desirability bias.

Examples of good survey questions

We will now cover a few sample survey questions.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. To get access to free unlimited survey questions , make sure to try out our free features —and all the additional benefits they offer.

Let’s say you need to create a market research survey to see which products are most useful to consumers, the ones customers are most satisfied with, any improvements they would like to see in a certain product, and new features that are desired.

Here are some useful survey questions that meet those requirements:

Here are some good demographic survey question examples:

  • How old are you? / What’s your age? / Please select your age group.
  • What is your date of birth?
  • What is your gender? / What gender do you identify as? / Which gender do you identify most with?
  • What is your ethnicity? / Please specify your ethnicity.
  • What is your current relationship status? / What is your marital status?
  • What is your level of education? / What is the highest level of education you have completed?
  • What is your current employment status?
  • What is your annual household income? / Which income group does your household fall under?

Here are some great survey questions you can ask about your product or service:

  • How did you hear about our company/products/services?
  • Have you ever used our products/services?
  • How satisfied are you with our products/services?
  • How satisfied were you with your customer service experience?
  • How would you rate your experience with our product?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how well does our service meet your needs?
  • Which of the following words would you use to describe our service?
  • How likely are you to use our products/services in the future?
  • How likely would you recommend this product to someone?
  • How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or a colleague?

Here are some good open-ended question options you can use:

  • What do you like the most about …
  • Is there anything you dislike about …
  • Is there anything you think we can improve about our product/services?
  • Do you have any suggestions as to how we can improve …
  • Do you have any suggestions for us?
  • What other products would you like to see us offer?
  • If you could change something about our products/services, what would it be?
  • Which products would you like to see in the future? / What would you like to see improved in our services?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Creating effective survey questions is crucial to gathering accurate and meaningful insights from respondents. Here are good survey question examples that can be adapted to various contexts.

  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with your current role?
  • What aspects of your job do you find most satisfying?
  • Are there any areas where you feel your job satisfaction could be improved?
  • How well is your current workload balanced with your personal life?
  • Are you able to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
  • How satisfied are you with the communication within your team/department?
  • Do you feel well-informed about company updates and changes?
  • Have you received opportunities for skill development and training in the past year?
  • How satisfied are you with the professional growth opportunities provided by the company?
  • How well does your team collaborate on projects and tasks?
  • Are you able to effectively work with your colleagues to achieve team goals?
  • Do you receive regular feedback on your performance from your manager?
  • How often do you receive recognition for your contributions?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your manager’s effectiveness in supporting your work and growth?
  • Does your manager provide clear direction and guidance?
  • Do you feel that the company’s values align with your own?
  • How well does the company foster a positive and inclusive work environment?
  • How likely are you to recommend this organization as a place to work to a friend or colleague? (Net Promoter Score)
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with your overall job experience?
  • How well do you think the organization manages and communicates changes?
  • Do you feel adequately prepared for changes that impact your role?
  • How inclusive do you perceive the work environment to be?
  • Do you believe the organization values diversity and promotes inclusivity?

All of these questions can be used for various purposes. Good questions for a survey will vary from case to case, though it’s fairly simple to fit them to your needs.

For example, for a post-event question, swap out products for services. For a customer satisfaction question, ask about certain aspects of the company’s relationship with customers. For an employee satisfaction survey, focus on the relationship between employees, their assignments, the overall work atmosphere, etc.

Here are five good survey questions to ask that can be adapted to various contexts:

  • (1 = Very Dissatisfied, 5 = Very Satisfied)
  • (Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always)
  • Brand reputation
  • Customer reviews
  • Recommendations from friends/family
  • Other (please specify): ____________
  • (Very Dissatisfied, Dissatisfied, Neutral, Satisfied, Very Satisfied)
  • (Open-ended response)

These questions cover different aspects like product satisfaction, feedback value, decision-making factors, communication, and suggestions for improvement. Remember to tailor questions to suit specific goals and context.

Crafting effective survey questions is a pivotal aspect of any data collection endeavor. Whether conducting market research, evaluating customer satisfaction, or gauging employee engagement, the art of formulating well-designed survey questions is key. Incorporating a mix of question types can yield richer insights.

For instance, Net Promoter Score (NPS) questions gauge customer loyalty by asking how likely respondents are to recommend a product or service and provide quantifiable data. Likert scale questions offer a structured way to measure opinions, allowing participants to rate their agreement on a predetermined scale.

Closed-ended questions with multiple-choice options enable easy data analysis, offering insights into specific preferences. Conversely, open-ended questions delve into qualitative nuances, offering participants the freedom to express their thoughts in their own words. The balance of quantitative and qualitative input strengthens the comprehensiveness of the survey.

Mastering the art of writing effective survey questions demands clear and concise language while avoiding biases or leading phrasing. By thoughtfully considering the mix of question types, survey writers can capture a comprehensive understanding of respondents’ perspectives, enriching the depth and breadth of insights garnered from the collected data.

Creating superior survey questions is not simple. You have to calibrate the feedback desired while also being careful not to discourage and mislead respondents.

That is one of the most important aspects of creating a good survey—not boring respondents. If you do that, very little information will be gathered to analyze.

That’s why we encourage trying our pro features , which provide the opportunity to use custom themes , upload images , and other approaches that will engage respondents and make their survey-taking experience more entertaining.

With some practice, you’re bound to get the hang of developing good survey questions. But if assistance of any kind is needed, feel free to ask SurveyPlanet for help!

Photo by Christin Hume

How to Write Good Survey Questions

Table of content.

  • Why are good survey questions important?
  • Understanding the basics
  • General tips for writing effective survey questions
  • How to write good survey questions step by step
  • Survey question examples
  • Avoiding common survey mistakes
  • Conclusion of writing good survey questions
  • FAQ on writing good survey questions

Writing good survey questions is essential to gather reliable data and make informed decisions. This can be a challenging task, especially for those who lack experience in survey design. However, with the right tools and knowledge, anyone can create a successful survey that produces valuable insights.

That’s why we have created a guide that will provide you with tips on how to write clear, specific, unbiased, and relevant survey questions. Additionally, it includes good survey question examples that yield accurate and actionable insights whether you’re conducting market research , evaluating customer satisfaction, or collecting feedback.

  • Better understand their customers Surveys provide a way for businesses to understand their customers on a deeper level. By asking specific questions, businesses can gain insights into what motivates their customers, what they value, and what they look for in products and services. This information can then be used to tailor marketing messages and product offerings to better meet the needs and desires of customers.
  • Identify areas for improvement Good survey questions can be used to identify areas for improvement within a business. By asking questions about specific products or services, businesses can identify areas where they may be falling short in terms of quality or customer satisfaction. This information can then be used to make improvements to existing offerings, or to develop new products or services that better meet the needs of customers.
  • Staying competitive In a competitive marketplace, it’s important for businesses to stay up-to-date on the needs and desires of their customers. Effective survey questions can provide businesses with valuable data that can be used to stay ahead of the competition. By gathering information about what customers want and need, businesses can develop new products and services that are more likely to resonate with customers and can use this information to differentiate themselves from competitors.
  • Improve customer satisfaction Good survey questions can be used for gathering feedback from customers which can be used by businesses to identify areas where they may be falling short in terms of customer satisfaction.
  • Make data-driven decisions Surveys provide businesses with valuable data that can be used to make informed and precise decisions. By analyzing survey results, businesses can identify trends and patterns in customer behavior and preferences, and use this information to inform product development, marketing strategy, and other important business decisions.
  • Improve marketing Good surveys provide the basis for developing or adapting marketing strategies. For example, new insights can be gained on the basis of customer feedback to better adapt existing marketing campaigns to customers’ needs.
  • Identify new opportunities Asking the right survey questions can also be used to identify new opportunities for growth and expansion. Gathering information about customer needs and desires allows businesses to identify gaps in the market that they can fill with new products or services.

To create an effective survey, it’s important to understand the basics of survey questions. This includes knowledge of the different survey question types , such as open-ended, closed-ended, and scaled questions. Additionally, careful consideration should be given to the design of survey questions, such as avoiding leading or biased questions, using clear and concise language, and ensuring that questions are relevant to the survey’s purpose.

Craft Effective Surveys with Our Online Survey Tool!

Ready to master the art of writing good survey questions? Explore our service page and discover our user-friendly online survey tool. Create engaging surveys that gather meaningful insights and deliver valuable data. Streamline your survey creation process and ensure the effectiveness of your questionnaire.

General tips for writing good and effective survey questions

Designing good and effective survey questions is essential for obtaining reliable and accurate data. Here are some general tips to keep in mind when writing survey questions:

  • Keep it clear and concise Use direct, simple and plain language that is easy to understand. Avoid complex sentence structures and technical jargon. Make sure the question is short enough to read and comprehend quickly.
  • Use appropriate language and tone Use language and a tone that is appropriate for your audience. Make sure the language is appropriate for the subject matter, and avoid using overly formal or casual language.
  • Use appropriate question formats Choose a question format that is appropriate for the type of information you are trying to collect. Closed-ended questions (such as multiple choice questions or Likert scale questions ) are useful for collecting quantitative data, while open-ended questions are better for collecting qualitative data.
  • Avoid common mistakes To ensure accurate data and valuable insights, it is crucial to avoid mistakes when writing good survey questions. By following best practices such as defining the research question , choosing appropriate question types, pilot testing the survey, and ensuring confidentiality and anonymity, researchers can create effective survey questions that yield valuable insights.

By following these general tips, you can ensure that your survey questions are clear, unbiased, and effective in collecting the information you need. Remember to pilot test your survey questions before sending out the survey to ensure that they are well-received and understood by your target audience .

Writing effective questions is an important aspect of creating a successful survey. This will ensure you get reliable and accurate data. Below are some steps to follow when writing survey questions:

  • Define the research question The first step in creating a successful survey is to define the research question which will help you determine what information you need to collect and how to structure your questions. It aligns with the purpose of the survey and the target audience. Once you have a clear research question, you can move on to the next step.
  • Determine the type of question There are different types of survey questions, including closed-ended, open-ended, Likert scale, and rating scale questions . Each type of question is used to collect different types of data. Closed-ended questions are used to collect quantitative data, while open-ended questions are used to collect qualitative data. Likert scale questions are used to measure attitudes and opinions, and rating scale questions are used to rate or rank items. Consider the type of data you need to collect and choose the appropriate question type.
  • Write the question When writing survey questions, it’s essential to keep the questions short and simple to avoid confusion or misunderstandings. Use straightforward language and avoid using technical jargon or complex terminology that the target audience might not understand. The questions should be relevant to the research question and the purpose of the survey.
  • Include response options If you are asking closed-ended questions, provide response options that are relevant to the question. Use mutually exclusive and exhaustive response options to ensure that each respondent can select an appropriate response. The response options should cover all possible answers and not overlap with other response options. Use a balanced scale, such as a five-point scale, to avoid skewing the results.
  • Consider the order of questions Arrange the questions in a logical order, starting with general questions and moving toward more specific questions. This will help respondents feel more comfortable and engaged with the survey. Start with easy, non-threatening questions and progress to more sensitive or personal ones. Consider the flow of the survey and how the questions are related to each other.
  • Keep the survey short and concise Respondents are more likely to complete the survey if it is short and concise. Avoid asking too many questions or questions that are not relevant to the research question. Consider using skip logic or branching to customize the survey experience for each respondent and reduce the number of questions asked.
  • Consider the language and tone Use clear and concise language that is easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or complex terminology that the target audience might not understand. Use a tone that is appropriate for the target audience and aligns with the purpose of the survey. The tone should be professional and respectful.
  • Use visual aids Incorporate visual aids such as images, diagrams, or charts to help respondents understand complex questions or concepts. This can also make the survey more engaging and interesting for respondents.
  • Ensure confidentiality and anonymity Assure respondents that their responses will remain confidential and anonymous to encourage honest and truthful answers. Provide a privacy statement at the beginning of the survey that explains how the data will be used and who will have access to it. Assure respondents that their answers will not be linked to their personal information.
  • Analyze the results Once the survey is complete, analyze the results to gain insights into the research question. Use the data to inform decision-making, improve products or services, or advance research objectives. Make sure to analyze the data in a way that is appropriate for the research question and the type of data collected.

To make sure that your survey questions are effective, it can be helpful to use examples of well-crafted survey questions as a guide. These examples can help you understand the different types of questions, how to structure them, and how to avoid common pitfalls. By using examples of effective survey questions, you can improve the quality of your survey and increase the accuracy of the data you collect.

What is your age? What is your gender? What is your highest level of education completed?

Have you purchased our product in the last 6 months? (yes/no) On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with our customer service? Which of the following best describes your current employment status? (full-time, part-time, unemployed, student, retired)

What are your thoughts on our new product? How can we improve our customer service? Please describe your experience with our company.

I am satisfied with the quality of our product: Strongly agree/Agree/Neutral/Disagree/Strongly disagree How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend?: Very likely/Somewhat likely/Neither likely nor unlikely/Somewhat unlikely/Very unlikely

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to purchase our product again? On a scale of 1-5, how important is customer service to you when making a purchase? On a scale of 1-7, how easy was it to navigate our website?

Avoiding Mistakes in writing survey questions

Writing survey questions can be a challenging task, and even experienced researchers can make mistakes. Poorly written survey questions can lead to inaccurate data and misleading results, ultimately wasting time and resources. To avoid these mistakes, it is essential to understand the common pitfalls in writing survey questions. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Leading Questions Leading questions are those that are worded in a way that prompts the respondent to give a specific answer. These questions can bias the results and invalidate the survey. Survey questions should be written in a neutral tone and avoid words or phrases that could influence the respondent’s answer.
  • Ambiguity Ambiguous survey questions can lead to confusion among respondents and ultimately to inaccurate results. Questions should be clear and straightforward, avoiding vague language or double negatives.
  • Lengthy Questions Long and complicated questions can be overwhelming for respondents and result in incomplete or inaccurate data. Questions should be short and to the point, with clear and concise language.
  • Lack of Specificity Questions should be specific and targeted, focusing on one idea or topic at a time. Lack of specificity can lead to vague and unhelpful data.
  • Confusing Layout The layout of the survey can also impact the accuracy of the results. The questions should be arranged in a logical order, with clear headings and instructions.
  • Avoid assumptions It’s essential to avoid making assumptions about the respondent’s knowledge or experience. For example, “How often do you use our product?” assumes that the respondent is already using the product. Instead, ask, “Have you used our product before?”

In conclusion, writing good survey questions is essential to obtain reliable and meaningful data. To ensure that the survey objectives are met, the questions should be relevant, easy to understand, unbiased, and organized logically. Additionally, avoiding common mistakes such as ambiguity, assumptions or confusing layouts can improve the accuracy of the results. By following best practices and investing time and effort in writing high-quality surveys, researchers and organizations can gain valuable insights that can inform decision-making and help achieve their goals.

What is the purpose of survey questions?

The purpose of survey questions is to collect data from respondents. Good survey questions help to elicit accurate and reliable responses that can be used to gain insights into a particular topic or issue.

What is a leading question?

A leading question suggests a particular answer or is designed to elicit a particular response. For example, 'Dont you agree that our product is the best on the market?' is a leading question because it suggests that the product is the best.

What is a rating scale question?

A rating scale question asks respondents to rate a particular product, service, or experience on a scale from poor to excellent or from 1 to 10.

How do I ensure that my survey questions are unbiased?

To ensure that your survey questions are unbiased, use neutral language that does not suggest a particular response, avoid loaded words or phrases, and provide clear and consistent response options.

How do I know if my survey questions are effective?

To know if your survey questions are effective, pilot test the survey with a small group of respondents and use their feedback to refine the questions as needed. Additionally, analyze the survey results to determine if the questions are providing the desired insights.

Hajrudin Krdzic

Whether designing intricate skyscrapers or delving deep into search algorithms, Hajrudin effortlessly bridges the world of architectural elegance with the ever-evolving realm of technology. Merging an architect's precision with a flair for tech, SEO, and content creation, he shapes the physical and digital worlds with equal passion.

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The Essential Guide to Writing Effective Survey Questions

Jennifer Leigh Brown

User surveys are popping up on websites and mobile apps everywhere. Well-designed ones yield helpful data. Poorly executed ones are a waste of time for users and researchers. Crafting a good questionnaire is a science, but luckily, substantial published research is available on the topic. It’s easy to write good questions when “survey best practices” are just a Google search away…

Indeed. There are about 68,300,000 results . All that information can be overwhelming to those new to survey writing. UX Booth is here to help.

In this article, I will focus solely on writing effective questions and answers—the critically important and challenging part between a proper introduction and conclusion. Skipping the basics of question types , I’ll dive into proven techniques researchers rely on to craft effective inquiries and response options to gather useful data and results.

(If you need help with survey planning, defining goals, or understanding the basics of structure and question types, check out How to Create an Effective Survey .)

Question Wording and Structure

The creation of effective survey questions is essential to accurately measure the opinions of the participants

The creation of effective survey questions is essential to accurately measure the opinions of the participants. If the questions are poorly worded, unclear or biased, the responses will be useless. A well-written question will mean the same thing to all respondents. It will communicate the desired information so that all participants interpret it the same way and understand the expected type of response.

Use these guidelines for writing survey questions to yield informative and accurate information.

Be clear, specific, and direct

Failure to clearly explain the intent of the question can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. Be very specific and avoid imprecise or vague words. Present the topic and define the behaviors, events, or timeframe. This will help ensure every participant is providing the same type of response.

Vague: What is your income?

For what time period? For just the respondent or the entire household? Before or after taxes?

Specific: What was your household’s yearly income before taxes in 2016?

Use the participants’ vocabulary

Consider the education level of the survey audience, and use words that will will be easily understood.

Consider the education level of the survey audience, and use words that will will be easily understood. Avoid jargon, complex terms, undefined abbreviations and acronyms. Use simple language and never assume knowledge; always provide the necessary information for the respondent to understand what is being asked. Define any concepts or terms that the respondent needs to understand in order to answer. If referencing something participants might not be familiar with, be sure to add details to help explain it.

Unclear: How likely would you be to subscribe to UIE’s library?

Whose library? The International Union for Electricity? What kind of library–documentation, podcasts, ebooks?

Clear: User Interface Engineering’s library offers online seminars by experts in UX design. You can access the recordings anytime for only $25 a month. How likely would you be to subscribe?

Tip: If the question requires a lengthy explanation, consider separating it from the question itself to help make the information easier to digest.

Talk like a real person and treat the questions like a conversation

Group similar topics together and order the questions in a logical way to create a natural flow as if having a conversation. The voice and tone of the survey should match who it is from and being designed for. The writing can be friendly and familiar but don’t sacrifice clarity for cutesy. Consider the MailChimp writing tone guideline , “It’s always more important to be clear than entertaining.”

Formal: Would you be willing to participate in our 10-question feedback survey? Your responses to this questionnaire will help us improve your experience with Corporation ABC’s website.

Informal: Hi! Are you willing to answer a few quick questions? It’s won’t take more than five minutes. (And there’s a really good prize!)

Tip: Although I’m focusing on introductions and not question writing, it’s worth noting that being up front about the time-investment and offering incentives can also help with response rates.

Ask only one question at a time

Each question should focus on a single item or concept. This generally means that questions should have one subject and verb. Double-barrel questions ask a respondent to evaluate more than one thing in a question yet only allow for a single response.

Double-barrel: Was the content marketing seminar worthwhile and entertaining?

What if the seminar was educational but the presenter was a dreadful bore, and the response options are Yes or No? A double-barrel question is also known as a compound question. This is a common mistake, which can be corrected by breaking questions into two. Let’s look at an example with how to correct it:

Double-barrel: How satisfied are you with your work environment and compensation?

Single and separate:

  • How satisfied are you with your work environment?
  • How satisfied are you with your compensation?

By breaking the double-barrel question into two questions, one about satisfaction with the work environment and another question about pay, the participant is now able to provide a response to both inquiries separately.

Practice good grammar

Keep the questions simple and grammatically correct. Maintaining a parallel structure and consistently using the same words and phrases improves respondents’ comprehension. Avoid two-part or complex questions which can be hard to interpret, as can double negatives .

Double Negative: Do you agree or disagree that user interface designers should never not know how to code?

Better: User interface designers should know how to code.

An agreement scale goes well with this reworked question—more on that later.

Avoid bias and loaded words

A biased question will lead participants in the direction of a particular answer. Some phrases, particularly adjectives and adverbs, may add bias to questions. Depending on how a question is presented, people can react in different ways (for example, asking a question using the word “loss” versus “gain”). The use of emotional, politically-charged, or sensitive words can also trigger a different response. Remain neutral regardless of topic and watch for wording that skews positive or negative.

Biased: We think this UX Booth article on Survey Question Writing is very helpful. How helpful do you think this article is?

Unbiased: What do you think of this UX Booth article on Survey Question Writing?

Start with broad, general questions and progress to specific and harder ones

Beginning with basic, easier questions can encourage a respondent to continue. When possible, try to balance simple and complex inquiries. Interspersing easier questions among more challenging ones can make it seem less burdensome and help reduce abandonment. And remember to save sensitive questions like income for the end and make them optional.

Keep the survey short and don’t be greedy!

Don’t waste people’s time–only ask for what you really need. (Requiring answers to questions will slow people down, but it won’t necessarily get you want you and will increase drop off rates.) If there aren’t too many questions, and respondents can immediately understand what is being asked, they are more likely to be willing and able to provide useful information. If the answers are also well-crafted…

Answer Wording and Structure

Since this article is concentrated on writing, I’ll focus on answers to closed questions , where responses need to be crafted by the survey designer. When providing responses to closed-ended questions, how each answer is described, the number of options, and the order can all influence how people respond. Whether presented as multiple choice, checklists, or in scales, just like when writing questions, the answers should use precise, clear wording. Here’s how to make that happen.

Present all the possibilities

The number of answers should be kept relatively small but include all the possible choices. Answers need to be balanced both ways (e.g. positive to negative, high to low frequency).

All respondents need to be able to find an answer that fits their situation—including opting out. If there could be a situation where none of the answers apply, provide the option to select “don’t know,” “not applicable” or “prefer not to answer” for sensitive questions. Including an “Other,” with a free-form text field to provide a custom answer, is a great way to learn about alternative responses not provided in the defined answer set.

Incomplete and Unbalanced:

  • Very Important
  • Moderately important
  • Slightly important

What if it is not important at all? Or not even applicable to the participant?

Complete and Balanced:

  • Extremely important
  • Very important
  • Not at all important
  • Not applicable

Say “no” only when necessary

Dichotomous questions present only two options and are clearly distinct. These answers, like yes/no and true/false, can produce less helpful data because they don’t provide context or specificity. (Though when using skip logic , these responses can often appropriate.) Formatting responses to use scales that measure things like attitudes or frequency yield more information-rich results. These answers can make a single question work harder.

Yes/No: Do you use the mobile app?

Frequency: How often do you use the mobile app?

Tip: These answers also follow the first guideline to cover all the possibilities in a balanced way, ranging from high to low or not at all. An even stronger set of choices would include references for the time period to clearly define what “sometimes” is versus “rarely.” Check out the UX Booth blog example below.

Keep answers mutually exclusive

If a participant can only select one response than each answer should be distinct and not cross-over. For example, options might be 0-5 or 6-10 rather than 0-5 or 5-10. Having the “5” in both answers makes them not mutually exclusive:

Not Distinct: Where is your work location?

  • In an office building.
  • From my home.
  • In the city.

The person could work in an office building in the city or from their home in the city.

Remove universal statements

Words like “never, none, always, all” are extreme choices that respondents might be hesitant to commit to. Rather than absolute words, provide answers with specific references for behaviors or timeframes.

  • I always read UX Booth’s blog.
  • I never read UX Booth’s blog.

Referenced Alternatives: I read UX Booth’s blog:

  • Once a week
  • 2-3 times a week
  • 4 or more times a week
  • I do not read UX Booth’s blog.

Use ratings and scales

The Likert Scale , where respondents indicate their level of agreement or disagreement, is the most commonly used approach to scaling options when measuring attitudes or behaviors. Likert scales should be symmetrical and balanced. They should contain equal numbers of positive and negative responses within the distance between each item being the same.

Experts’ debates about scales—the number of levels (5, 7,10), and the inclusion of a neutral midpoint (neither agree nor disagree)—is too overwhelming to tackle in this article. Consult the many resources for Likert Scale best practices . SurveyMonkey suggests five scale points for unipolar and seven for bipolar. (My personal opinion is between five to seven is best; the higher the number the harder it is for people to gauge.) Always include word labels not just numbers to identify what each point on the scale means.

Common Scales:

  • Agreement: Disagree to Agree
  • Familiarity: Not Familiar to Very Familiar
  • Frequency: Never to Always
  • Important: Not Important to Extremely Important
  • Likelihood: Not Likely to Extremely Likely
  • Quality: Poor to Excellent
  • More Examples (Iowa State PDF)

Use the expected, “natural” order for answer scales because it is easier for people to respond. For ranges (e.g. excellent to poor) it’s okay to reverse the order, such as starting with the favorable and ending with unfavorable answer, since it can also influence choices.

Tip: Read “ There is a Right Way and Wrong Way to Number Rating Scales .”

Good survey design leads to good data.

The unfortunate result of bad survey design is bad data. Asking good questions and providing solid answers is not easy. Take advantage of what other researchers and academics have done and use starter templates when appropriate. It is the survey designer’s responsibility to be clear and unbiased. Make sure the questions will be informative, the answers accurate, and that the insight you can will lead to actionable results.

  • Make Design Decisions with a Purpose
  • Creating Personas
  • The Ethics of UX Research
  • Five Tips for Conducting Scientific Research in the UX World
  • Running a Successful User Workshop

UX research - or as it’s sometimes called, design research - informs our work, improves our understanding, and validates our decisions in the design process. In this Complete Beginner's Guide, readers will get a head start on how to use design research techniques in their work, and improve experiences for all users.

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How to Write Good Survey Questions? (+ Examples & Tips)

survey questions

Are you looking to create surveys for your research project? Or are you curious about how to craft good questions for surveys for effective market research?

In either case, this blog post is for you! We will review the basics of question writing and walk through some examples to see what makes a good survey question.

By the end, you’ll be able to write the types of surveys questions you need to get a high response rate.

Let’s get started!

Table of contents

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The importance of survey questions

A survey question is a prompt used to collect information from survey respondents. Survey questions can be used to collect quantitative data (i.e. data that can be measured or counted) or qualitative data (i.e. descriptive data that cannot be easily measured).

Also, survey questions can be both open-ended and closed-ended. Where open-ended questions give respondents the opportunity to answer in their own words, while closed-ended questions give respondents a limited number of responses to choose from.

Both types of questions have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to choose the right type of question depending on your goals.

Ultimately, using the right survey questions is essential because they help researchers gather the data they need to answer their research question(s).

Furthermore, well-written survey questions can help ensure that the data collected is accurate and useful.

rating scale questions, types of survey questions, customer satisfaction

Different types of Survey Questions

There are four main types of survey questions:

1. Open-ended questions

These questions allow respondents to answer in their own words. They are often used to collect qualitative data.

Tip: Ask for simple information in separate questions so it’s easier to review and analyse the results.

2. Closed-ended questions

These questions provide respondents with a list of answers to choose from. They can be used to collect both quantitative and qualitative feedback data.

Tip: These are great for web surveys to gather data fast from users across the customer journey.

3. Multiple choice

This is where you give more than one choice, and allow the respondent to select multiple answers. These are absolutely a great way to get a high response rate as these types of survey questions are easy and quick to answer.

Tip: Write great surveys questions and avoid asking multiple questions that contain similar choices.

4. Likert scale questions

These questions ask respondents to rate their level of agreement or disagreement with a statement on a scale (usually from 1 to 5 or 1 – 10). They are typically used to collect quantitative data.

Tip: Use the same rating scales over time to gather feedback which can be easily compared when analysing.

5. Rating scale questions

These questions ask respondents to rate their level of agreement or disagreement with a statement on a scale (usually from 1 to 7) using semantic terms (e.g., good-bad, easy-difficult). They are typically used to collect quantitative data.

Tip: Follow up with respondents answers to collect data with actionable insights. The numeric results of rating scales only give a snapshot.

Now that we’ve reviewed the different questions let’s look at what makes a good survey question.

customer satisfaction, written answers, open ended survey questions

What makes a good survey question?

Now that we know what survey questions are and why they’re essential let’s talk about what makes a good survey question. There are four main qualities of a good survey question:

  • Conciseness
  • Specificity

Let’s take a closer look at each of these qualities.

A survey question should be straightforward so that respondents understand what they are being asked and can provide an accurate answer. A question is considered clear if it uses language that is easy to understand and free of jargon.

For example, the following survey question is clear:

“How often do you check your email?”

This survey question is clear because it uses concise and straightforward language. The respondent knows precisely what they are asked and can quickly provide an answer.

2. Conciseness

Keep your questions short and sweet, so respondents don’t get discouraged or bogged down. A concise question gets straight to the point without using unnecessary words.

For example, the following survey question is brief:

“How many hours per week do you spend working?”

This survey question is concise because it is direct and to the point. The respondent knows precisely what they are asked and can quickly provide an answer.

3. Specificity

A survey question should be clear and concise so that respondents can quickly answer it. A specific question asks about a particular topic or issue.

For example, the following survey question is straightforward:

“What factors do you consider when choosing a new car?”

This survey question is specific because it asks about a particular topic (choosing a new car). The respondent knows precisely what they are asked and can quickly provide an answer.

4. Neutrality

A survey question should not reflect the writers’ opinions to ensure that respondents can answer without bias. A neutral question is one void of the writer’s influence so that anyone could answer it objectively.

For example, the following survey question is neutral:

“What is your favorite color?”

This survey question is neutral because it does not lead respondents to a particular answer. The respondent can answer without bias.

Now that we know what qualities make a good survey question let’s look at some sample survey questions.

This survey question is clear, concise, specific, and neutral. Respondents will be able to understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

This survey question is clear, concise, and specific. Respondents will be able to understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

This survey question is clear, specific, and neutral. Respondents will be able to understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

Now that you know what qualities make a good survey question try writing some of your own! Remember to keep your questions clear, concise, specific, and neutral.

answer options, multiple answers, market research

Tips for writing great survey questions

In addition to the qualities of a good survey question, you can follow some general tips to write practical survey questions. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Make sure your question is relevant to the survey’s purpose.

1. Avoid yes/no questions.

It is essential to avoid yes/no questions when writing survey questions. Yes/no questions are not practical because they do not provide enough information for respondents.

For example, the following survey question is a yes/no question:

“Do you like blue cars?”

This survey question is a yes/no question because it asks respondents if they like blue cars. The respondent can only answer “yes” or “no” and does not provide any additional information.

Instead of using yes/no questions, try using qustions that allow you to gather more actionable insights. Using open-ended is a great way of doing this and to get more valuable information.

For example, the following survey question is open-ended:

“Why do you like blue cars?”

This survey question is open-ended because it asks respondents why they like blue cars. The respondent can provide a detailed answer and more information about their opinion.

2. Ask one question at a time

When writing survey questions, ask one question at a time to maintain respondent focus and accuracy.

For example, the following survey question asks two questions at once:

“Do you like blue cars? And why?”

This survey asks two questions at once because it asks respondents if they like blue cars and why. The respondent can only answer “yes” or “no” for the first question and “why” for the second question.

When writing survey questions, ask one question at a time so that respondents can provide accurate answers.

3. Keep your survey questions short

Keep your survey questions short to avoid overwhelming respondents.

For example, the following survey question is too long:

“How often do you check your email, and how many hours per day do you spend working?”

This survey question is too long because it asks respondents two questions. The respondent can only answer “often” or “hours per day” for the first question and “per day” for the second question.

As a result, the respondent cannot provide a detailed answer to either question.

4. Use simple language

Use comprehensible language when writing survey questions to ensure the respondents can correctly answer the question.

For example, the following survey question uses complex language:

“What are some of the reasons why you might not purchase a product?”

This survey question uses complex language because it asks respondents to list “reasons.” The respondent might not be able to understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

Instead of using complex language, try using more straightforward language. For example, the following survey question uses more straightforward language:

“Why wouldn’t you purchase a product?”

This survey question uses more straightforward language, asking respondents to list “reasons.” The respondent can understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

5. Avoid leading or loaded questions.

It is essential to avoid leading or loaded questions when writing survey questions. Leading questions ask respondents for their opinion in a way that influences their answers.

For example, the following survey question is a leading question:

“Do you think blue cars are better than red cars?”

This survey question is a leading question because it asks respondents if they think blue cars are better than red cars. The respondent might not be able to provide an accurate answer if they do not have an opinion on the subject.

Leading questions can also be loaded questions. Loaded questions ask respondents for their opinion in a way that is emotional or controversial.

For example, the following survey question is a loaded question:

“Do you think it’s acceptable to hit your child if they disobey you?”

This survey question is loaded because it asks respondents for their opinion on child discipline. The respondent might be unable to provide an accurate answer if they do not have an idea of the subject.

Avoid leading or loaded questions while drafting survey questions to obtain reliable feedback from respondents.

6. Avoid double-barreled questions.

You should always avoid asking double-barreled questions in surveys. Double-barreled questions are when you simultaneously ask the respondent for their opinion on two different subjects.

For example, the following survey question is double-barreled:

“Do you think that blue cars are better than red cars, and why?”

This survey question is double-barreled because it asks respondents for their opinions on two subjects simultaneously. The respondent might be unable to provide an accurate answer if they do not have an idea on either subject.

When writing survey questions, avoid double-barreled questions to get accurate feedback from respondents.

7. Use closed-ended questions.

When writing survey questions, it is essential to use closed-ended questions. Closed-ended questions allow for easier analysis of results by only allowing respondents to choose from a list of options.

For example, the following survey question is closed-ended:

“Which type of car do you prefer?”

This survey is a closed-ended question because it asks respondents to choose from a list of options. The respondent can answer with “blue,” “red,” or “other.”

Using closed-ended questions allows you to get specific information from respondents. This question is beneficial when you want to know how many people feel a certain way about a subject.

Use closed-ended questions when writing survey questions to gain specific information from respondents.

8. Use open-ended questions.

It’s vital to use open-ended questions when writing survey questions. Open-ended questions ask respondents to provide their answers.

“What are your thoughts on child discipline?”

This survey question is open-ended because it asks respondents to provide their answers. The respondent can answer with their opinion on child discipline.

Using an open-ended question allows you to get detailed information from respondents. This question is beneficial when you want to know why people feel a certain way about a subject.

When writing survey questions, use open-ended questions to get detailed information from respondents.

9. Use Likert scale questions.

When writing survey questions, it is essential to use Likert scale questions. Likert scale questions ask respondents to rate their level of agreement with a statement on a scale of 1 to 5.

For example, the following survey question is a Likert scale question:

“Do you think that blue cars are better than red cars?”

This survey question is a Likert scale because it asks respondents to rate their level of agreement with the statement on a scale of 1 to 5. The respondent can answer with:

  • 1 – Strongly Disagree
  • 2 – Disagree
  • 3 – Neutral
  • 4 – Agree
  • 5 – Strongly Agree

Using Likert scale questions allows you to get detailed information from respondents. This question is beneficial when you want to know how strongly people feel about a subject.

Use Likert scale questions when constructing survey questions to elicit rich information from respondents.

Now that you know the basics of question writing, it’s time to put your skills to the test! Try crafting a few survey questions of your own. Once you have some practice, you’ll be able to write surveys quickly.

And who knows? You might learn something new about yourself in the process!

Want To Know More? Check Our FAQ Below!

Why do we ask demographic questions.

Demographic questions are asked to understand the characteristics of a population.

This information is used to help plan and allocate resources and understand trends and patterns.

How do you write a rating scale question?

For example, a rating scale question is a question where respondents are asked to rate something on a scale from 1-5.

  • 1 – Very unsatisfied
  • 5 – Very satisfied.

When creating the rating scale questions, it’s essential to make sure that the ratings are evenly spaced and that there is a midpoint (3 in this example).

It’s also essential to choose appropriate words for the endpoints of the scale. “Very unsatisfied” and “very satisfied” are good options, but you could also use “extremely dissatisfied” and “extremely satisfied”.

What questions should you ask potential customers?

You should ask potential customers about their needs and what they want in a product or service.

It would help if you also asked them about their experience with your competition and how they compare.

Existing and potential customers can be asked about their satisfaction with your product or service and what they would like to see improved.

Finally, you can ask both groups for feedback on the overall customer experience from start to finish.

How to write great questions for online surveys?

When designing a survey questionnaire, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Sensitive questions should be placed towards the end of the survey after all other questions have been answered. This will ensure that respondents are more likely to answer all questions honestly.
  • Questions about market research and customer feedback should be included early in the survey to capture as much information as possible.
  • The order of the questions should be logical and easy to follow.
  • Questions should be concise and easy to understand.
  • Double-check the wording of each question to make sure it is unambiguous.

Why are multiple-choice questions good in a survey?

There are a few reasons why multiple-choice questions can be good in a survey.

  • First, they allow respondents to select from a range of options, making it easier to find the answer they are looking for.
  • Second, multiple-choice questions allow for multiple solutions, giving you a complete picture of what your respondents are thinking.

How do you increase survey responses?

There are a few things you can do to increase survey responses.

First, ensure that your target audience is aware of the survey and incentive participation by offering something to complete the survey.

Secondly, you can promote your survey through social media, email marketing, or even directly reaching out to your target audience.

Why is the survey important for business?

A survey can be an essential tool for businesses to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty and collect customer feedback.

Additionally, surveys can help companies identify potential improvement areas and understand what customers want from their products or services.

What are the NPS questions in the survey?

The NPS questions in the survey are used to determine the Net Promoter Score of a business.

The score is calculated starting with the percentage of respondents that answered 9 or 10 on the survey (promoters) and then taking away the percentage of respondents who answer 0 to 6 (detractors).

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How to write good survey questions: 80 examples and tips

Elin Jansson

Do you want to gather feedback from users, customers, visitors, or anyone else interacting with your content? Smart choice! Businesses that leverage consumer insights, outperform their competition with 85% , according to Microsoft. A popular way to start collecting feedback is by creating a survey . But which questions should you use? And how, exactly, do you write good survey questions? Keep reading to find out!

In this article, we’ll teach you all you need to know (and a good bit more, because we are generous like that) about survey questions. We will even throw in an abundance of examples.

Here is an overview on what you can learn in this blog:

How do you write good survey questions?

How many questions should a survey have, 5 main types of survey questions, quantify your findings with survey metrics, 80 survey question examples.

Let’s start at the top, shall we?

The key to writing good survey questions is to create a solid base. Start with mapping out why you are creating this survey. What is your goal, what do you want to find out and how are you going to measure it?

Examples of common survey goals are:

  • Measuring the customer satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Identifying improvement points for a website, app, product or service
  • Mapping out the customer journey
  • Identifying unique selling points and weaknesses

Once you have identified your goal(s), you can start writing your actual questions. Keep in mind that good survey questions should be short, to the point and clear . Make sure that you:

  • Ask one question at a time
  • Avoid writing biased or leading questions
  • Are careful with sensitive questions – put them in the right context to make the customer, user or visitor feel more comfortable

Writing good questions

If you found our article by googling this question (hi, welcome!) you have probably already noticed that there isn’t one good answer to this. It depends on who you are sending your survey to and what your goals are.

Generally speaking, the shorter your survey is, the more likely it is to be filled in. Research has also shown that data quality declines on surveys that are longer than 20 minutes. That being said, some goals require you to include a good amount of questions to get accurate insights.

Our recommendation, however, is to keep the number of questions below 30 and the completion time under 10 minutes if possible. But again; the shorter, the better.

There is an abundance of survey questions out there and choosing which ones to use can be quite overwhelming. To give you an indication of where to start, we have listed the five most popular, and most useful, ones below.

Open-ended questions

Multiple choice questions, drop-down questions, rating scale questions, thumbs questions.

Let’s dive into what each of these types looks like and when they are useful.

Open-ended questions allow your customers, users or visitors to share their own thoughts and feelings about a certain subject with you. This is great for detecting needs and improvement points that you might not have been aware of otherwise.

The downside is, however, that people are less likely to answer open-ended questions. Simply because it takes more time than checking a few boxes.

Example of an open-ended survey question

When should you use open-ended questions?

Use open-ended questions when you want to deep dive into a topic. Or when you are just starting to collect data. The answers can give you an indication of what you need to develop and what to ask in future surveys.

Additionally, open-ended questions are great follow-up questions! You can start by asking something simple, like:

  • Did you find everything you were looking for?

If the answer is no, include an open-ended question asking for more information. For example:

  • We’re sorry to hear that! What were you trying to find?

Let us ask you something: Have you ever heard of a multiple choice question?

a) Yes, many, many times. b) No, never heard of it. Please explain further!

We’re betting that you chose option a. And if not, congratulations! You have just seen your first multiple choice question.

As you probably know, this type of querie asks the survey participant to choose between a pre-determined number of choices.

Multiple choice questions are popular as they are quick and simple to answer, making it more likely that your target audience will fill in your survey. Additionally, they are also easy to analyse once the survey is complete.

Example of a multiple choice survey question

When should you use multiple choice questions?

They are great when you have a limited number of possible answers. Or when you have a specific, categorial question.

Which device are you using to view our website?

Drop-down questions and multiple choice questions essentially work the same way. They are both used when you want specific, categorical answers. However, with a drop-down question, the options appear in a hidden list that can be viewed by clicking a button.

Example of a drop-down survey question

When should drop-down questions be used?

Typically, when you have a multiple choice question with more than seven options. It makes your survey look neater and prevents the participant from having to scroll unnecessarily.

A good example of when drop-down questions are used, is when asking for age group or place of residence.

These questions provide answers on a numeric scale. They are typically, but not exclusively, used in Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, which is a way to measure customer satisfaction.

A typical rating scale (and NPS) question is:

  • How likely are you to recommend our product?

The survey participant can then choose a number between 0-10, with 0 being very unlikely and 10 very likely.

Example of a rating scale survey question

When should rating scale questions be used?

If you need to assign a numeric value to your question, then a rating scale is your best friend! It is also perfect for measuring your customer satisfaction. There are a few different metrics you can use to measure this, which we get into a little bit further down in the article.

An additional tip is to follow up a rating scale question (like the above) with an open-ended question to see exactly what your customers/users/visitors think about your brand, product or service.

A thumbs question only has two possible answers: a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The benefit of this type of question is that they make it extremely easy for your customers/visitors/users to answer, which has a positive impact on your survey’s response rate.

Common examples of thumbs questions are:

  • How was your overall experience with [brand]?
  • Did this answer all of your questions?

Example of a thumbs survey question

When should you use thumbs questions?

If you need a general indication on a service or product, then thumbs questions are a great option. Especially if you work in a fast-paced business, like retail, where your target demographic might not have time to complete a long survey.

Place a question like this at the end of an email. For example, after a delivery or a purchase.

You might have a specific thesis you want to test with your survey. Or perhaps you are gathering general insights to find customer pain points. However, it’s not uncommon to conduct a survey to learn about your customers’, users’ or visitors’ overall satisfaction with your brand or a certain product/feature.

There are a few handy ways you can measure this. The most common are:

NPS surveys (Net Promoter Score)

NPS surveys measure loyalty and are therefore only effective when sent to long-term customers or users. With this metric, you can see how likely someone is to recommend your product/service to friends, family and colleagues.

An NPS survey is conducted by asking your customers to rate you, your service or your product on a scale from 0-10.

Examples of NPS survey questions are:

  • On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend [business/product/service] to a friend or colleague?
  • On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends and family based on your most recent interaction?
  • Now that you have received/used [product], how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?

CES surveys (Customer Effort Score)

CES surveys zoom in on one specific service, product or interaction. If you are looking to improve a specific funnel, then this is the metric for you.

The CES score is also measured with the help of numbers, but you can play a bit with the visual aspect of it. Use smiley faces, thumbs or any other aid to make it more playful and appealing.

What kind of questions you should ask, of course, depends on what service, product or interaction you want to focus on. Below you can find some common CES survey question examples:

  • How easy was it to solve your problem?
  • How easy was it to find the information you wanted on our website?
  • How easy was it to interact with our team?
  • How easy was it to follow our onboarding process?

CSAT surveys (Customer Satisfaction Score)

CSAT surveys measure a short-term customer experience. It’s a good metric to use when you want to get an overall feel of your customer satisfaction. CSAT is measured by asking your customers to rate you from 1-10. Based on the answers, you get a percentage which is your CSAT score.

Calvin klein CSAT survey example

These are some common CSAT survey questions:

  • What is your overall impression of our website?
  • How do you like our service?
  • How would you rate our product?

Check out our blog on everything you need to know about customer satisfaction surveys .

Ready to get into the nitty-gritty? Below you can find 78 powerful survey questions, divided by categories. There are of course thousands of questions you could ask, so make sure to choose wisely.

17 UX (user experience) survey questions

A UX survey helps you gather insights about your users’ interactions and thoughts about your app, website or software.

Question examples:

  • How useful is our product/feature/app/software to you?
  • Tell us about your experience using [product/feature/app/software].
  • How would you rate the user-friendliness of our [product/feature/app/software]?
  • How easy is it to navigate our app/website?
  • What kind of impact does this feature have on your business?
  • Why did you choose us over our competitors?
  • What do you like the most about [product/feature/app/software]?
  • What do you like the least about [product/feature/app/software]?
  • What is the most difficult part of using [product/feature/app/software]?
  • What is your favourite part of [product/feature/app/software]?
  • How likely are you to recommend this [product/feature/app/software] to friends or colleagues?
  • Is there anything you would like us to remove from the design of [product/feature/app/software]?
  • How would you rate the overall look and feel of our [product/feature/app/software]?
  • Does our [product/feature/app/software] meet all your requirements?
  • Which of our competitors did you consider before choosing us?
  • What is the most important feature you think we should add?
  • How did you find our [product/feature/app/software]?

20 Customer satisfaction survey questions

As the name suggests, customer satisfaction surveys help you gauge the satisfaction of your customers. No surprise there! Find out what your customers think about your product/service and your brand, as well as what you can do to improve the customer experience.

  • How likely are you to recommend our product/service to friends and colleagues?
  • Describe how you feel about [product/service].
  • How can we improve your experience with the website?
  • How satisfied are you with your experience in our store today?
  • Did you feel like you got an answer to your question quickly enough?
  • Do you agree that your issue was resolved?
  • How likely are you to purchase from us again?
  • How long have you been using our product?
  • Are you satisfied with the payment options that we have?
  • Are you satisfied with the delivery options that we have?
  • Is there something that you are missing with our service?
  • How was your delivery experience?
  • Are you happy with your new products?
  • How long have you been using our product/service?
  • How can we improve your overall experience with us?
  • Do you have any additional comments or feedback for us?
  • Is it okay if we contact you to follow up on your responses?
  • Can we connect you with a customer manager?
  • Which of the following words would you use to describe our product/service?
  • How easy is it to navigate our website? (CES question)

23 website survey questions

Conducting a survey, specifically on your website, can help you gain insight into your website’s user experience. Is your information easy to understand? Does the look of your website resonate with your target audience? These are questions that can only be answered with visitor feedback.

  • Why are you visiting our website?
  • What was your first impression of our website?
  • Did you find the information that you were looking for on this page?
  • How easy was it to complete your purchase?
  • Why are you leaving the website?
  • Are you having trouble finding what you are looking for?
  • How easy is it to understand the information on our website?
  • Do you find our website visually appealing?
  • How easy is it to navigate our website?
  • How did you find our website?
  • If you could change anything about your checkout experience, what would it be?
  • How easy is it to understand what [company name] does from our homepage?
  • Which words would you use to describe our website?
  • How can we improve our pricing page?
  • Why are you cancelling your subscription?
  • How often do you visit our website?
  • How was your experience with our mobile website?
  • Did our website render well in your browser?
  • Which browser are you using?
  • How would you describe the payment process?
  • Did our website take long to load?
  • What could we have done better? (in case of cancellation or churn)
  • Did you find the images on the website useful?

8 email survey questions

Email surveys are great if you want quick, general feedback. Include a question at the end of your newsletter or after a notice of delivery, for example.

  • How would you rate the product you recently bought?
  • Did the product fulfil the reason for the purchase?
  • How satisfied were you with your experience purchasing from us?
  • How would you rate [product/software/service] on a scale from 1-10?
  • Were you satisfied with our customer service?
  • Did you find this newsletter helpful?
  • Did our team help you find what you were looking for?
  • How was your recent experience in our store?

12 mobile app survey questions

Have you just launched a new app? Congrats! Or do you want to gauge what your users think about your app? Both these scenarios are great examples for conducting a mobile app survey.

  • How did you first hear about our app?
  • How is the navigation of our mobile app?
  • How do you feel about the app design?
  • [Certain feature] was made easier with the app. (With the choice of ‘True’ or ‘False’)
  • Which are your favourite features of the app?
  • Have you run into any problems while using the app?
  • How easy would you say that it is to use our app?
  • Is there something you prefer doing on our app rather than on our website?
  • Why did you download our app?
  • Are there any features you are missing?
  • Describe a situation when the app has been useful to you.
  • How often do you use this feature?

Phew! That was a long list of questions to get through. Hopefully, it is enough to get you started on your survey journey. Don’t forget to keep your form as short as possible. In other words, really take the time to choose questions that will serve your goal and make sure that they are worded in the best way possible: Short, to the point and clear!

Start creating surveys with Mopinion

Ready to get surveying? We thought so! If you are looking for a powerful software that can help you create the perfect form, you’ve come to the right place.

Mopinion is the number one feedback software that specialises in gathering insights from website, mobile and email. The choice is yours. Create your surveys with our easy drag-and-drop function. Once the data is collected, we gather and visualise the data for you in an easy-to-read dashboard. This creates instant, actionable insights for your company. Try it and see for yourself with our free 14-day trial period!

Ready to see Mopinion in action?

Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.

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how to write good survey questions for research

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An ultimate guide to writing a good survey paper: key strategies and tips

Mastering a survey paper: a comprehensive guide to writing and analysis


John, a PhD in Education from Harvard and former Edutopia star, now is a consultant renowned for his work in educational review.

A survey paper is often the first step in discovery and advancement in various academic disciplines. It is an efficient way to summarize your discoveries and develop a better understanding of any subject. Yet, most students don’t feel comfortable taking on such a challenge at first try and go for college paper help instead. One way or another, you still should know what a survey paper is and how to recognize a job well done. We are ready to show you how to write a survey paper so it never becomes a problem. Follow this guide to learn everything you need to know.

What is a survey paper

Survey papers occupy a unique niche among many other research paper types. Unlike their more practical colleagues, the experimental survey papers go into more theoretical realms. They aim to summarize and analyze the existing scientific research on a specific topic. Students with a survey paper assignment must review the vast amount of information found across numerous scholarly articles and books and turn that information into a single, well-organized resource.  

Survey papers don't require you to conduct experiments, express personal opinions, or build convincing arguments. Here, you only collect and rely on original data. Students learn to explore existing sources of information, extract their value, and apply it to the field of their study. So, what is a survey paper? Well, in essence, survey papers close the gap between theory and experiment, focusing on areas where more data is needed and providing the foundation for future research and discovery.

For students on academic research journeys , mastering the art of crafting a survey paper is essential. In research, a survey paper helps you explore a topic by mapping out the existing knowledge. It doesn't involve experiments but acts as a compass, pointing you toward the most relevant research and highlighting key findings. This process enhances your research, critical thinking, and analytical skills. It helps them go deeper into their chosen fields and discover valuable knowledge hidden in past works. 

Students proficient in survey paper writing will also improve their ability to skim over large qualities of texts, discover patterns and trends, and pinpoint areas with research and academic potential. Such powerful skills contribute to students’ overall academic performance, research abilities, and progress within their field of study. 

Survey paper preparation 

Here's your toolkit on how to write a survey paper.

Topic selection

The first step is picking a topic for a survey paper that sparks your intellectual curiosity and aligns with your broader academic goals. Ideally, the topic should have a lot of existing research, providing a solid foundation for your survey. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from professors, librarians, or fellow researchers to find a topic that excites you and has a strong research base.

Preliminary research

Before you begin your planning, you need to explore the area. Start with a broad yet focused search to gain a general understanding of the chosen topic for your paper survey. Study online academic databases, relevant academic journals in your field, and reliable textbooks. This initial exploration helps you refine your research question and identify key areas within the broader topic that deserve a deeper look.

Analyzing existing literature

Once you have a more specific direction, it's time to explore the "base camp" of existing scholarly work. Use online databases and search engines to find relevant peer-reviewed articles, books, and credible online resources. As you examine each source, take notes, focusing on these key aspects:

  • Central arguments : Identify the main points and arguments presented in each study. Focus on the specific questions each researcher was trying to answer and the conclusions they presented.
  • Methodological tools : Learn about the different research methods used by various scholars within the field. These might include surveys, interviews, case studies, or other methods relevant to the topic of your survey paper.
  • Key findings : Extract the significant results and insights from each study. Analyze how these findings contribute to the broader understanding of the topic and identify any recurring patterns or themes. 

Theoretical frameworks

Examine the theoretical lenses used by researchers to interpret their findings. Understanding the theoretical underpinnings of each study allows for a more nuanced comprehension of the presented research. These frameworks will guide you through the complexities of the existing literature scope.

Developing a research question

What is a survey paper without the research question? This writing element lies in the heart of your survey paper. It guides your analysis and shapes the purpose of your survey paper writing. You should be able to reshape your topic into a more specific, manageable question. It should be concise, clear, and relatable. 

Writing tip from SpeedyPaper

How to write a survey paper: perfect structure.

A compelling survey paper requires a well-organized structure. Learning how to write a survey paper will enhance your delivery, paper's readability, and overall appearance of your text. Proper structure will guide you through the text, unfolding each argument with every paragraph. Such structure ensures readers can easily follow your analysis and engage with the presented research. This guide shows the essential steps on how to format a survey paper and build a powerful outline, effectively introducing and analyzing existing research on your chosen topic.

The abstract serves as your reader's first impression, so it's crucial to craft a clear and informative one. Here are some insights and tips to help you write a compelling survey paper. 

  • Focus : Briefly introduce the topic, research question, and key findings.
  • Start with context : Briefly set the stage for your research question.
  • Clear question : State your research question, making the center of attention. 
  • Highlight findings : Briefly mention the main insights from your analysis.
  • Target audience : Tailor the language to your reader.
  • Conciseness is key : Aim for clarity within the word limit. Use every word to convey your message.


A strong introduction for your survey paper is both a captivating hook and a roadmap for your analysis. Start by grabbing the reader's attention with a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic, or a historical anecdote related to your topic. Next, provide a concise overview of the field, highlighting its current facts and data and focusing on its broader significance within academia.  

Finally, establish the central research question of your survey paper. This question becomes the focal point of your analysis, ensuring your reader understands the specific area of knowledge you are exploring within the existing research.

Literature Review

The literature review acts as the core of your survey paper. Here, you begin your journey into existing research, analyzing and synthesizing findings from various scholarly sources. This section allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the current research landscape and lay the foundation for your own analysis.

  • Organize for clarity : Structure your review to optimize clarity and highlight the key themes and arguments within the literature. You can organize thematically, focusing on specific topics or concepts within your research area. Alternatively, you might choose a chronological or methodological approach, depending on what best facilitates a clear understanding of the research evolution or the methods employed by various scholars.
  • Analyze, don't summarize : Go beyond a mere summary of each study. Engage in critically analyzing your texts.
  • Explain research methods : Explain scholars' different research methodologies in your field. This might include surveys, interviews, content analysis, or other methods relevant to your topic. Understanding the diverse approaches gives you a more nuanced perspective on the research landscape.
  • Focus on key findings : Extract the significant results and insights from each study. Analyze how these findings contribute to the broader understanding of the topic of your survey paper and identify any frequent patterns or themes. 

The discussion section bridges your thorough analysis of a literature review and your concluding remarks. Here, you move beyond summarizing findings and start a conversation with the existing research. You can’t learn how to write a survey paper without synthesizing the key themes and insights extracted from your analysis. Highlight any areas of agreement or disagreement amongst scholars. Such work demonstrates your understanding of the complexities within the research landscape.  

Additionally, identify any gaps in knowledge or areas of conflicting opinions. These areas identify potential ideas for future research. Remember, while supporting your argument, keep the language simple and concise with easy-to-follow logical transitions. 

The conclusion should close your survey paper, leaving a lasting impression on the reader. Here's how to craft a strong conclusion. 

  • Restate and summarize : Briefly remind the reader of your research question and summarize the key findings you've presented throughout your analysis.
  • Reiterate the significance : Emphasize the importance of understanding the existing research base within your chosen topic. Explain how this knowledge contributes to a broader understanding of the field.
  • Future directions : Briefly suggest potential avenues for future research. Drawing on the gaps in knowledge you identified in your discussion, propose areas where further exploration could be fruitful.

Top 15 topics ideas for your survey paper 

Sometimes, the hardest part of writing survey papers is finding a topic of great interest and importance. Here are 15 ideas to consider during your next attempt at writing a research paper .

  • The Rise of Citizen Science: Exploring Public Participation in Research
  • How Algorithms Shape Our Online Experiences
  • Automation, Remote Work, and the Evolving Job Market -  The Future of Work
  • How Video Games Impact Learning and Development
  • Environmental Concerns and Sustainability Practices
  • The Evolving Landscape of News Media and Information Consumption
  • Exploring the Rise of Collaborative Consumption
  • The Power of Personal Branding
  • Exploring Adaptive Education Technologies During the Age of Personalized Learning
  • Exploring the Rise of Online Education
  • The Ethical Dilemma of Artificial Intelligence: Exploring Public Perceptions
  • How Technology Empowers Older Adults
  • Exploring Practices for Stress Reduction
  • Exploring Sustainable and Experiential Travel Trends
  • Exploring the Impact of Narrative in Social Movements

Following these steps and embracing a critical and analytical approach will prepare you to craft a compelling survey paper. Remember, your paper serves as a valuable resource for navigating the existing studies within your chosen field. It doesn't just show what's already known. It also helps pave the way for new discoveries.

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McKinsey technology trends outlook 2024

Despite challenging overall market conditions in 2023, continuing investments in frontier technologies promise substantial future growth in enterprise adoption. Generative AI (gen AI) has been a standout trend since 2022, with the extraordinary uptick in interest and investment in this technology unlocking innovative possibilities across interconnected trends such as robotics and immersive reality. While the macroeconomic environment with elevated interest rates has affected equity capital investment and hiring, underlying indicators—including optimism, innovation, and longer-term talent needs—reflect a positive long-term trajectory in the 15 technology trends we analyzed.

What’s new in this year’s analysis

This year, we reflected the shifts in the technology landscape with two changes on the list of trends: digital trust and cybersecurity (integrating what we had previously described as Web3 and trust architectures) and the future of robotics. Robotics technologies’ synergy with AI is paving the way for groundbreaking innovations and operational shifts across the economic and workforce landscapes. We also deployed a survey to measure adoption levels across trends.

These are among the findings in the latest McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook, in which the McKinsey Technology Council  identified the most significant technology trends unfolding today. This research is intended to help executives plan ahead by developing an understanding of potential use cases, sources of value, adoption drivers, and the critical skills needed to bring these opportunities to fruition.

Our analysis examines quantitative measures of interest, innovation, investment, and talent to gauge the momentum of each trend. Recognizing the long-term nature and interdependence of these trends, we also delve into the underlying technologies, uncertainties, and questions surrounding each trend. (For more about new developments in our research, please see the sidebar “What’s new in this year’s analysis”; for more about the research itself, please see the sidebar “Research methodology.”)

New and notable

The two trends that stood out in 2023 were gen AI and electrification and renewables. Gen AI has seen a spike of almost 700 percent in Google searches from 2022 to 2023, along with a notable jump in job postings and investments. The pace of technology innovation has been remarkable. Over the course of 2023 and 2024, the size of the prompts that large language models (LLMs) can process, known as “context windows,” spiked from 100,000 to two million tokens. This is roughly the difference between adding one research paper to a model prompt and adding about 20 novels to it. And the modalities that gen AI can process have continued to increase, from text summarization and image generation to advanced capabilities in video, images, audio, and text. This has catalyzed a surge in investments and innovation aimed at advancing more powerful and efficient computing systems. The large foundation models that power generative AI, such as LLMs, are being integrated into various enterprise software tools and are also being employed for diverse purposes such as powering customer-facing chatbots, generating ad campaigns, accelerating drug discovery, and more. We expect this expansion to continue, pushing the boundaries of AI capabilities. Senior leaders’ awareness of gen AI innovation has increased interest, investment, and innovation in AI technologies, such as robotics, which is a new addition to our trends analysis this year. Advancements in AI are ushering in a new era of more capable robots, spurring greater innovation and a wider range of deployments.

Research methodology

To assess the development of each technology trend, our team collected data on five tangible measures of activity: search engine queries, news publications, patents, research publications, and investment. For each measure, we used a defined set of data sources to find occurrences of keywords associated with each of the 15 trends, screened those occurrences for valid mentions of activity, and indexed the resulting numbers of mentions on a 0–1 scoring scale that is relative to the trends studied. The innovation score combines the patents and research scores; the interest score combines the news and search scores. (While we recognize that an interest score can be inflated by deliberate efforts to stimulate news and search activity, we believe that each score fairly reflects the extent of discussion and debate about a given trend.) Investment measures the flows of funding from the capital markets into companies linked with the trend.

Data sources for the scores include the following:

  • Patents. Data on patent filings are sourced from Google Patents, where the data highlight the number of granted patents.
  • Research. Data on research publications are sourced from Lens.
  • News. Data on news publications are sourced from Factiva.
  • Searches. Data on search engine queries are sourced from Google Trends.
  • Investment. Data on private-market and public-market capital raises (venture capital and corporate and strategic M&A, including joint ventures), private equity (including buyouts and private investment in public equity), and public investments (including IPOs) are sourced from PitchBook.
  • Talent demand. Number of job postings is sourced from McKinsey’s proprietary Organizational Data Platform, which stores licensed, de-identified data on professional profiles and job postings. Data are drawn primarily from English-speaking countries.

In addition, we updated the selection and definition of trends from last year’s report to reflect the evolution of technology trends:

  • The future of robotics trend was added since last year’s publication.
  • Data sources and keywords were updated. For data on the future of space technologies investments, we used research from McKinsey’s Aerospace & Defense Practice.

Finally, we used survey data to calculate the enterprise-wide adoption scores for each trend:

  • Survey scope. The survey included approximately 1,000 respondents from 50 countries.
  • Geographical coverage. Survey representation was balanced across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.
  • Company size. Size categories, based on annual revenue, included small companies ($10 million to $50 million), medium-size companies ($50 million to $1 billion), and large companies (greater than $1 billion).
  • Respondent profile. The survey was targeted to senior-level professionals knowledgeable in technology, who reported their perception of the extent to which their organizations were using the technologies.
  • Survey method. The survey was conducted online to enhance reach and accessibility.
  • Question types. The survey employed multiple-choice and open-ended questions for comprehensive insights.
  • 1: Frontier innovation. This technology is still nascent, with few organizations investing in or applying it. It is largely untested and unproven in a business context.
  • 2: Experimentation. Organizations are testing the functionality and viability of the technology with a small-scale prototype, typically done without a strong focus on a near-term ROI. Few companies are scaling or have fully scaled the technology.
  • 3: Piloting. Organizations are implementing the technology for the first few business use cases. It may be used in pilot projects or limited deployments to test its feasibility and effectiveness.
  • 4: Scaling. Organizations are in the process of scaling the deployment and adoption of the technology across the enterprise. The technology is being scaled by a significant number of companies.
  • 5: Fully scaled. Organizations have fully deployed and integrated the technology across the enterprise. It has become the standard and is being used at a large scale as companies have recognized the value and benefits of the technology.

Electrification and renewables was the other trend that bucked the economic headwinds, posting the highest investment and interest scores among all the trends we evaluated. Job postings for this sector also showed a modest increase.

Although many trends faced declines in investment and hiring in 2023, the long-term outlook remains positive. This optimism is supported by the continued longer-term growth in job postings for the analyzed trends (up 8 percent from 2021 to 2023) and enterprises’ continued innovation and heightened interest in harnessing these technologies, particularly for future growth.

Photo of McKinsey Partners, Lareina Yee and Roger Roberts

Future frontiers: Navigating the next wave of tech innovations

Join Lareina Yee and Roger Roberts on Tuesday, July 30, at 12:30 p.m. EDT/6:30 p.m. CET as they discuss the future of these technological trends, the factors that will fuel their growth, and strategies for investing in them through 2024 and beyond.

In 2023, technology equity investments fell by 30 to 40 percent to approximately $570 billion due to rising financing costs and a cautious near-term growth outlook, prompting investors to favor technologies with strong revenue and margin potential. This approach aligns with the strategic perspective leading companies are adopting, in which they recognize that fully adopting and scaling cutting-edge technologies is a long-term endeavor. This recognition is evident when companies diversify their investments across a portfolio of several technologies, selectively intensifying their focus on areas most likely to push technological boundaries forward. While many technologies have maintained cautious investment profiles over the past year, gen AI saw a sevenfold increase in investments, driven by substantial advancements in text, image, and video generation.

About QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey

QuantumBlack, McKinsey’s AI arm, helps companies transform using the power of technology, technical expertise, and industry experts. With thousands of practitioners at QuantumBlack (data engineers, data scientists, product managers, designers, and software engineers) and McKinsey (industry and domain experts), we are working to solve the world’s most important AI challenges. QuantumBlack Labs is our center of technology development and client innovation, which has been driving cutting-edge advancements and developments in AI through locations across the globe.

Despite an overall downturn in private equity investment, the pace of innovation has not slowed. Innovation has accelerated in the three trends that are part of the “AI revolution” group: gen AI, applied AI, and industrializing machine learning. Gen AI creates new content from unstructured data (such as text and images), applied AI leverages machine learning models for analytical and predictive tasks, and industrializing machine learning accelerates and derisks the development of machine learning solutions. Applied AI and industrializing machine learning, boosted by the widening interest in gen AI, have seen the most significant uptick in innovation, reflected in the surge in publications and patents from 2022 to 2023. Meanwhile, electrification and renewable-energy technologies continue to capture high interest, reflected in news mentions and web searches. Their popularity is fueled by a surge in global renewable capacity, their crucial roles in global decarbonization efforts, and heightened energy security needs amid geopolitical tensions and energy crises.

The talent environment largely echoed the investment picture in tech trends in 2023. The technology sector faced significant layoffs, particularly among large technology companies, with job postings related to the tech trends we studied declining by 26 percent—a steeper drop than the 17 percent decrease in global job postings overall. The greater decline in demand for tech-trends-related talent may have been fueled by technology companies’ cost reduction efforts amid decreasing revenue growth projections. Despite this reduction, the trends with robust investment and innovation, such as gen AI, not only maintained but also increased their job postings, reflecting a strong demand for new and advanced skills. Electrification and renewables was the other trend that saw positive job growth, partially due to public sector support for infrastructure spending.

Even with the short-term vicissitudes in talent demand, our analysis of 4.3 million job postings across our 15 tech trends underscored a wide skills gap. Compared with the global average, fewer than half the number of potential candidates have the high-demand tech skills specified in job postings. Despite the year-on-year decreases for job postings in many trends from 2022 to 2023, the number of tech-related job postings in 2023 still represented an 8 percent increase from 2021, suggesting the potential for longer-term growth (Exhibit 1).

Enterprise technology adoption momentum

The trajectory of enterprise technology adoption is often described as an S-curve that traces the following pattern: technical innovation and exploration, experimenting with the technology, initial pilots in the business, scaling the impact throughout the business, and eventual fully scaled adoption (Exhibit 2). This pattern is evident in this year’s survey analysis of enterprise adoption conducted across our 15 technologies. Adoption levels vary across different industries and company sizes, as does the perceived progress toward adoption.

Technologies progress through different stages, with some at the leading edge of innovation and others approaching large-scale adoption.

Image description:

A graph depicts the adoption curve of technology trends, scored from 1 to 5, where 1 represents frontier innovation, located at the bottom left corner of the curve; 2 is experimenting, located slightly above frontier innovation; 3 is piloting, which follows the upward trajectory of the curve; 4 is scaling, marked by a vertical ascent as adoption increases; and 5 is fully scaled, positioned at the top of the curve, indicating near-complete adoption.

In 2023, the trends are positioned along the adoption curve as follows: future of space technologies and quantum technologies are at the frontier innovation stage; climate technologies beyond electrification and renewables, future of bioengineering, future of mobility, future of robotics, and immersive-reality technologies are at the experimenting stage; digital trust and cybersecurity, electrification and renewables, industrializing machine learning, and next-gen software development are at the piloting stage; and advanced connectivity, applied AI, cloud and edge computing, and generative AI are at the scaling stage.

Footnote: Trend is more relevant to certain industries, resulting in lower overall adoption across industries compared with adoption within relevant industries.

Source: McKinsey technology adoption survey data

End of image description.

We see that the technologies in the S-curve’s early stages of innovation and experimenting are either on the leading edge of progress, such as quantum technologies and robotics, or are more relevant to a specific set of industries, such as bioengineering and space. Factors that could affect the adoption of these technologies include high costs, specialized applications, and balancing the breadth of technology investments against focusing on a select few that may offer substantial first-mover advantages.

As technologies gain traction and move beyond experimenting, adoption rates start accelerating, and companies invest more in piloting and scaling. We see this shift in a number of trends, such as next-generation software development and electrification. Gen AI’s rapid advancement leads among trends analyzed, about a quarter of respondents self-reporting that they are scaling its use. More mature technologies, like cloud and edge computing and advanced connectivity, continued their rapid pace of adoption, serving as enablers for the adoption of other emerging technologies as well (Exhibit 3).

More-mature technologies are more widely adopted, often serving as enablers for more-nascent technologies.

A segmented bar graph shows the adoption levels of tech trends in 2023 as a percentage of respondents. The trends are divided into 5 segments, comprising 100%: fully scaled, scaling, piloting, experimenting, and not investing. The trends are arranged based on the combined percentage sum of fully scaled and scaling shares. Listed from highest to lowest, these combined percentages are as follows:

  • cloud and edge computing at 48%
  • advanced connectivity at 37%
  • generative AI at 36%
  • applied AI at 35%
  • next-generation software development at 31%
  • digital trust and cybersecurity at 30%
  • electrification and renewables at 28%
  • industrializing machine learning at 27%
  • future of mobility at 21%
  • climate technologies beyond electrification and renewables at 20%
  • immersive-reality technologies at 19%
  • future of bioengineering at 18%
  • future of robotics at 18%
  • quantum technologies at 15%
  • future of space technologies at 15%

The process of scaling technology adoption also requires a conducive external ecosystem where user trust and readiness, business model economics, regulatory environments, and talent availability play crucial roles. Since these ecosystem factors vary by geography and industry, we see different adoption scenarios playing out. For instance, while the leading banks in Latin America are on par with their North American counterparts in deploying gen AI use cases, the adoption of robotics in manufacturing sectors varies significantly due to differing labor costs affecting the business case for automation.

As executives navigate these complexities, they should align their long-term technology adoption strategies with both their internal capacities and the external ecosystem conditions to ensure the successful integration of new technologies into their business models. Executives should monitor ecosystem conditions that can affect their prioritized use cases to make decisions about the appropriate investment levels while navigating uncertainties and budgetary constraints on the way to full adoption (see the “Adoption developments across the globe” sections within each trend or particular use cases therein that executives should monitor). Across the board, leaders who take a long-term view—building up their talent, testing and learning where impact can be found, and reimagining the businesses for the future—can potentially break out ahead of the pack.

Lareina Yee is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Bay Area office, where Michael Chui  is a McKinsey Global Institute partner, Roger Roberts  is a partner, and Mena Issler is an associate partner.

The authors wish to thank the following McKinsey colleagues for their contributions to this research: Aakanksha Srinivasan, Ahsan Saeed, Alex Arutyunyants, Alex Singla, Alex Zhang, Alizee Acket-Goemaere, An Yan, Anass Bensrhir, Andrea Del Miglio, Andreas Breiter, Ani Kelkar, Anna Massey, Anna Orthofer, Arjit Mehta, Arjita Bhan, Asaf Somekh, Begum Ortaoglu, Benjamin Braverman, Bharat Bahl, Bharath Aiyer, Bhargs Srivathsan, Brian Constantine, Brooke Stokes, Bryan Richardson, Carlo Giovine, Celine Crenshaw, Daniel Herde, Daniel Wallance, David Harvey, Delphine Zurkiya, Diego Hernandez Diaz, Douglas Merrill, Elisa Becker-Foss, Emma Parry, Eric Hazan, Erika Stanzl, Everett Santana, Giacomo Gatto, Grace W Chen, Hamza Khan, Harshit Jain, Helen Wu, Henning Soller, Ian de Bode, Jackson Pentz, Jeffrey Caso, Jesse Klempner, Jim Boehm, Joshua Katz, Julia Perry, Julian Sevillano, Justin Greis, Kersten Heineke, Kitti Lakner, Kristen Jennings, Liz Grennan, Luke Thomas, Maria Pogosyan, Mark Patel, Martin Harrysson, Martin Wrulich, Martina Gschwendtner, Massimo Mazza, Matej Macak, Matt Higginson, Matt Linderman, Matteo Cutrera, Mellen Masea, Michiel Nivard, Mike Westover, Musa Bilal, Nicolas Bellemans, Noah Furlonge-Walker, Obi Ezekoye, Paolo Spranzi, Pepe Cafferata, Robin Riedel, Ryan Brukardt, Samuel Musmanno, Santiago Comella-Dorda, Sebastian Mayer, Shakeel Kalidas, Sharmila Bhide, Stephen Xu, Tanmay Bhatnagar, Thomas Hundertmark, Tinan Goli, Tom Brennan, Tom Levin-Reid, Tony Hansen, Vinayak HV, Yaron Haviv, Yvonne Ferrier, and Zina Cole.

They also wish to thank the external members of the McKinsey Technology Council for their insights and perspectives, including Ajay Agrawal, Azeem Azhar, Ben Lorica, Benedict Evans, John Martinis, and Jordan Jacobs.

Special thanks to McKinsey Global Publishing colleagues Barr Seitz, Diane Rice, Kanika Punwani, Katie Shearer, LaShon Malone, Mary Gayen, Nayomi Chibana, Richard Johnson, Stephen Landau, and Victor Cuevas for making this interactive come alive.

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Market research questions: what to ask and how.

9 min read Whether you’re looking for customer feedback, product suggestions or brand perception in the market, the right market research questions can help you get the best insights. Learn how you can use them correctly and where to begin.

What is market research?

Market research (also called marketing research) is the action or activity of gathering information about market needs and preferences. This helps companies understand their target market — how the audience feels and behaves.

For example, this could be an online questionnaire, shared by email, which has a set of questions that ask an audience about their views. For an audience of target customers, your questions may explore their reaction to a new product that can be used as feedback into the design.

Why do market research?

When you have tangible insights on the audience’s needs, you can then take steps to meet those needs and solve problems. This mitigates the risk of an experience gap – which is what your audience expects you deliver versus what you actually deliver.

In doing this work, you can gain:

  • Improved purchase levels – Sales will improve if your product or service is ticking all the right buttons for your customers.
  • Improved decision making – You can avoid the risk of losing capital or time by using what your research tells you and acting with insights.
  • Real connection with your target market – If you’re investing in understanding your target audience, your product and service will more likely to make an impact.
  • Understand new opportunities – it might be that your research indicates a new area for your product to play within, or you find potential for a new service that wasn’t considered before.

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Who do you ask your questions to?

Who to target in your market research is crucial to getting the right insights and data back. If you don’t have a firm idea on who your target audiences are, then here are some questions that you can ask before you begin writing your market research questions:

  • Who is our customer currently and who do we want to attract in the future?
  • How do they behave with your brand?
  • What do they say, do and think?
  • What are their pain points, needs and wants?
  • Where do they live? What is the size of our market?
  • Why do they use us? Why do they use other brands?

We’ve put together some questions below (Market research questions for your demographics) if you wanted to reach out to your market for this.

With the answers, you can help you segment your customer market, understand key consumer trends, create customer personas and discover the right way to target them.

Market research goals

Give yourself the right direction to work towards.There are different kinds of market research that can happen, but to choose the right market research questions, figure out your market research goals first.

Set a SMART goal that thinks about what you want to achieve and keeps you on track. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. For example, a good SMART business goal would be to increase website sales for a top product by 10% over a period of 6 months.

You may need to review some strategic business information, like customer personas and historical sales data, which can give you the foundation of knowledge (the ‘baseline’) to grow from. This, combined with your business objectives, will help you form the right SMART targets tailored to your teams.

Types of market research questions

Now that you have your SMART target, you can look at which type of market research questions will help you reach your goal. They can be split into these types:

  • For demographics
  • For customers
  • For product

Market research questions for your demographics

Demographic information about your customers is data about gender, age, ethnicity, annual income, education and marital status. It also gives key information about their shopping habits.

Here are some questions you can ask in your market research survey:

  • What is your age / gender / ethnicity / marital status?
  • What is the highest level of education you have achieved?
  • What is your monthly income range?
  • What methods of shopping do you use?
  • What amount do you spend on [product/brand/shopping] each month?
  • How regular do you shop for [product/brand]?

Learn more about the demographic survey questions that yield valuable insights .

Market research questions for your customer

These questions are aimed at your customer to understand the voice of the customer — the customer marketing landscape is not an one-way dialogue for engaging prospects and your customer’s feedback is needed for the development of your products or services.

  • How did we do / would you rate us?
  • Why did you decide to use [product or service]?
  • How does that fit your needs?
  • Would you recommend us to your friends?
  • Would you buy from us again?
  • What could we do better?
  • Why did you decide to shop elsewhere?
  • In your opinion, why should customers choose us?
  • How would you rate our customer experience?

Learn more about why the voice of the customer matters or try running a customer experience survey.

Market research questions for your product

These questions will help you understand how your customers perceive your product, their reactions to it and whether changes need to be made in the development cycle.

  • What does our [product or service] do that you like or dislike?
  • What do you think about [feature or benefit]?
  • How does the product help you solve your problems?
  • Which of these features will be the most valuable / useful for you?
  • Is our product competitive with other similar products out there? How?
  • How does the product score on [cost / service / ease of use, etc.]?
  • What changes will customers likely want in the future that technology can provide?

There are also a set of questions you can ask to find out if your product pricing is set at the right mark:

  • Does the product value justify the price it’s marketed at?
  • Is the pricing set at the right mark?
  • How much would you pay for this product?
  • Is this similar to what competitors are charging?
  • Do you believe the price is fair?
  • Do you believe the pricing is right based on the amount of usage you’d get?

Have you tried a pricing and value research survey to see how much your target customers would be willing to pay?

Market research questions for your brand

How does the impact of your products, services and experiences impact your brand’s image? You can find out using these questions:

  • What do you think about our brand?
  • Have you seen any reviews about us online? What do they say?
  • Have you heard about our brand from friends or family? What do they say?
  • How likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend?
  • Have you read the testimonials on our own channels? Did they have an impact on your decision to purchase? How?
  • When you think of our brand, what do you think/ feel / want?
  • How did you hear about us?
  • Do you feel confident you know what our brand stands for?
  • Are you aware of our [channel] account?

Learn more about brand perception surveys and how to carry them out successfully.

How to use market research questions in a survey

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Amid Doubts About Biden’s Mental Sharpness, Trump Leads Presidential Race

2. biden’s and trump’s personal qualities and handling of issues, table of contents.

  • Broad dissatisfaction with the 2024 campaign
  • Other findings: Voter engagement, candidates and issues, Trump’s conduct, Biden’s personal traits over time, job approval
  • Larger share of Trump’s voters say they strongly support him
  • Moderate supporters of Biden and Trump are less likely than strong supporters to be certain of their choices
  • Where do Kennedy’s supporters go in a two-way race?
  • Personal traits of Biden and Trump
  • Confidence in Biden and Trump on issues facing the nation
  • Many voters would swap out the candidates if they could
  • Voters’ emotions if Biden or Trump won
  • Demographic differences in views of the stakes in the 2024 election
  • How motivated are voters at this point in the campaign?
  • How voter attention compares to past elections
  • Views of Biden’s job performance among key demographic groups
  • Views of the political parties
  • Acknowledgments
  • The American Trends Panel survey methodology

Overall, 43% of voters say they agree with Donald Trump on many or all issues, while somewhat fewer (37%) say they agree with Biden on many or all issues.

Chart shows Voters give Trump an edge on issues, Biden an edge on personal conduct

But voters are more likely to like Joe Biden’s personal conduct than Trump’s:

  • 26% say they like the way Biden conducts himself, while 30% have mixed feelings and 43% do not like his conduct.
  • Just 14% like Trump’s conduct, while 30% say they have mixed feelings and a 56% majority say they don’t like his conduct.

Voters on their candidate’s issues and personal conduct

Most Biden and Trump supporters generally agree with their candidate on issues, but Trump supporters are particularly likely to say this.

By contrast, a majority of Biden supporters like Biden’s personal conduct, but Trump supporters are more divided in their evaluations of Trump’s personal behavior.

Nearly nine-in-ten Trump supporters (88%) say they agree with him on many or all issues, including 41% who say they agree with him on all or nearly all issues. 

Chart shows Trump’s backers are more likely than Biden’s to say they agree with their candidate on issues; Biden’s are more likely to like their candidate’s conduct

Eight-in-ten Biden supporters say they agree with him on many or all issues, though just 25% say they agree with him on all or nearly all issues.

While relatively small shares of either candidate’s supporters say they agree with their candidate on only a few or no issues, Biden’s supporters are slightly more likely to say this than Trump’s (19% vs. 12%, respectively).

About six-in-ten Biden supporters (59%) like the way Biden conducts himself, with 36% saying they have mixed feelings. Just 5% say they don’t like the way he conducts himself.

Trump supporters are far less likely to say they like the way Trump conducts himself (30%), instead holding more mixed (55%) or negative (15%) views about his conduct.

Chart shows Most voters say Biden and Trump are ‘embarrassing’; Biden viewed as more honest, Trump more ‘mentally sharp’

Voters overall give mixed assessments of Biden and Trump on some key personal traits.

Positive traits

Nearly half of voters (48%) see Biden as either very or fairly honest, 12 percentage points higher than the share of voters who describe Trump this way (36%). 

Voters are also slightly more likely to view Biden as caring about the needs of ordinary people (49% vs. 44% who say this of Trump).

But Trump is seen by far more voters as “mentally sharp” than Biden is (58% vs. 24%) – a 34-point difference.

Negative traits

Identical majorities of voters (63%) describe both Biden and Trump as “embarrassing.”

Voters are considerably more likely to view Trump as “mean-spirited” than Biden: 64% of voters say this describes Trump very or fairly well, while about half as many (31%) say this about Biden.

How supporters view their own candidate’s personal traits

Biden and Trump supporters both generally attribute positive traits to their candidate, with smaller shares describing them in negative terms.

  • About nine-in-ten Trump and Biden voters say “cares about the needs of ordinary people” describes their candidate at least fairly well.
  • Majorities of Biden and Trump voters also view their candidates as honest. But Biden supporters are substantially more likely to view Biden as honest (92%) than Trump supporters are to say this about Trump (77%).
  • While an overwhelming majority of Trump supporters (96%) view Trump as mentally sharp, a far smaller share (53%) of Biden supporters say this describes Biden very or fairly well.
  • 39% of Trump supporters say “mean-spirited” describes Trump. Just 8% of Biden supporters say Biden is mean-spirited.
  • At least a third of both Biden’s (37%) and Trump’s (33%) own backers characterize them as embarrassing.

Chart shows Voters generally view the candidate they support in positive terms, but a third or more of both candidate’s supporters say ‘embarrassing’ describes their candidate

Biden and Trump’s personal traits today vs. four years ago

When Biden and Trump faced each other four years ago, voters were also more likely to view Biden as honest than to say this about Trump. Biden’s current advantage on this trait is on par with his advantage in 2020.

Mental sharpness

Today, just 24% of voters say “mentally sharp” describes Biden very or fairly well, while 58% say this trait applies to Trump. In October of 2020, voters were slightly more likely to apply this description to Trump than Biden (50% vs. 46%). But the gap is now 34 percentage points. The share of voters viewing Biden as mentally sharp has declined steadily since early 2021. More voters (58%) view Trump as mentally sharp today than did so in October 2020 (50%).

The drop in the share of voters viewing Biden as mentally sharp has come mostly among his own supporters. While 82% viewed Biden as mentally sharp in October 2020, 53% do now. Among Trump supporters, just 2% describe Biden as mentally sharp, with 89% saying this does not describe him well at all.

Concern for ordinary people

Biden continues to be seen by more voters than Trump as someone who “cares about the needs of ordinary people.” But the 13-point edge Biden enjoyed on this trait in June 2020 is narrower today (5 points).

Chart shows Far fewer voters see Biden as mentally sharp than in 2020, while the share saying this about Trump has increased; Biden continues to hold edge on honesty

Neither major party candidate wins much confidence from voters on some of the key issues facing the nation. No more than about half of voters express confidence in either candidate on any of the six issue areas asked about in this survey. And in several cases, substantially smaller shares express confidence.

Chart shows Voters have greater confidence in Trump on immigration, the economy, foreign policy; Biden has slight edge on abortion policy

Still, more voters express confidence in Trump than in Biden on immigration, the economy and foreign policy, while Biden has an advantage on abortion policy and on his ability to work with the opposing party. Nearly identical shares have confidence in Biden and Trump on Supreme Court nominations.

Greater confidence in Biden

Four-in-ten voters express confidence in Biden to work well with elected officials in the other party. About a third (32%) have confidence in Trump to do this.

And a slightly larger share of voters have confidence in Biden to make good decisions about abortion policy than say this about Trump (48% vs. 44%).

Greater confidence in Trump

Voters express greater confidence in Trump’s ability to make good decisions about immigration policy, economic policy and foreign policy.

About half or more of voters say they are very or somewhat confident in Trump’s ability to handle each of these policy areas, compared with four-in-ten or fewer who say this of Biden.

No clear advantage

Voters are about equally confident in Trump’s and Biden’s ability to select good nominees for the Supreme Court (47% say they are very or confident in each).

Supporters’ confidence in their own candidates

While voters are generally confident in their candidate’s ability to make good policy decisions, Trump’s voters express higher levels of confidence than Biden’s voters on most measures.

For instance, more than nine-in-ten Trump supporters are very or somewhat confident that Trump can make good decisions in relation to foreign, economic and immigration policy, including at least six-in-ten who say they are very confident.

Large majorities of Biden supporters express confidence in Biden on these measures, but fewer than half are very confident in his ability to handle immigration, as well as foreign and economic policies. Sizeable majorities of Trump supporters are very confident in his handling of these same issues.

Chart shows Trump supporters are more likely than Biden supporters to be very confident in their candidate’s handling of immigration, the economy and foreign policy; more Biden than Trump supporters are highly confident in their candidate on abortion policy

However, a larger share of Biden supporters (55%) than Trump supporters (42%) are confident in their candidate to make good decisions about abortion policy.

Voter confidence in candidates on issues: 2020 vs. 2024

Chart shows Confidence in Biden on economy, foreign policy, Supreme Court is down from 2020 election

Voters’ confidence in Trump on the economy, foreign policy and Supreme Court appointments is nearly identical to voters’ assessments in the 2020 election.

By comparison, confidence in Biden in each of these domains is lower than it was in the 2020 election. 

Half of voters expressed confidence in Biden’s ability to make good foreign policy decisions in June 2020, as did about half (48%) in his ability to make good decisions about economic policy.

Today, about four-in-ten express confidence in Biden in each of these areas.

By comparison, confidence that Trump could make good foreign policy decisions is modestly higher (from 44% to 49%), while confidence that he can make good economic decisions is about the same as it was four years ago.

Voters’ confidence in Biden’s ability to select good nominees for the Supreme Court is also lower than it was in 2020 (55% then, 47% now), as confidence in Trump’s ability to do so has changed little (49% then, 47% now).

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