As a minimum, the general instruction (or 'opening greeting') should cover the following points (see also Section 3.2.1, for special instructions for mail surveys):
• What the study is about and why it is important or socially useful.
• The organization responsible for conducting the study.
• Emphasizing that there are no right or wrong answers; requesting honest answers and trying to elicit integrity in general.
• Promising confidentiality.
For better readability and emphasis, the instructions should be graphically highlighted, such as being printed in boldface type, and the main pieces of information can also be given in a format such as bulleted points. I would expect the following sample instruction would be suitable for most purposes.
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