Guidelines on How to Write Survey Questions

If you wish to write your own custom questions and need guidelines for doing so, here are some quick tips:

  • Be aware of your personal biases.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Use standard English.
  • Write clear instructions.
  • Avoid slang, jargon, and acronyms whenever possible.
  • Avoid loaded or leading words.
  • Avoid double-barreled questions (i.e., measure one thought per item).
  • Sequence the questions logically.
  • Preview the survey and/or have a colleague review it.
  • Consider the time needed to complete the survey.
  • When in doubt, K.I.S.S. (keep it short & simple).

For more resources and information about writing survey questions, please see the online resources section of this help page. You may also come peruse CTL’s extensive library of texts and multimedia resources in the CTL Resource Room,  Atkins 149C.