Questionnaire items

After the instructions comes the central part of the questionnaire, the actual items. They will be discussed in detail in Sections 2.3 - 2.7.

Two points need to be made here:

• Questionnaire items rarely take the form of actual questions that end with a question mark. The item type found in Sample 2.3, for example, is far more common than that in Sample 2.2 (which is a real question).

• The items need to be veiy clearly separated from the instructions. This is where different typefaces and font styles come in handy.

• Unless the researcher or a representative is present during the completion of the questionnaire, it might be worth including a contact name (e.g., the researcher's or an administrator's) with a telephone number or address and some explicit encouragement to get in touch if there are any questions.

• In 'distant' situations, it might also be worth summarizing briefly how the questionnaires should be returned, and even when a return envelope is provided, we should print on the questionnaire the name and the address of the person to whom the completed questionnaire is to be sent.

• It is a nice gesture (unfortunately too rarely used) to include a brief note promising to send the respondent a summary of the findings if interested (see Section 3.3.9, for a discussion of this point).

• Sometimes questionnaires can also end with an invitation to volunteer for a follow-up interview.

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