A survey report is a type of academic writing that uses research to provide information about a topic. It involves questions that are formulated based on the research objective, to be answered by respondents and later analyzed using appropriate data analysis methods. Survey reports involve report writing which is a very important element of the survey research process.
To be able to disseminate the information from the survey, you need to have good writing skills. Without good writing skills, the survey report is at risk of being misrepresented or not explained well. When this happens, the objective of the survey is not achieved, for it is the aim of survey reports to present the survey data in a manner that is engaging and understandable to various readers.
Survey questionnaires are the basic tool of survey reports. They are the forms containing the questions that the researcher will ask during the survey. Just as the objectives of survey reports vary, so do the types of questionnaires that you need to formulate.
The kind of questionnaire you will use depends on your research objective. Questionnaires may range from the most basic—the yes or no type, which requires respondents to tick off appropriate boxes containing the given responses—to the more complex: close-ended, which requires respondents to choose from among given options; and open-ended, which requires respondents to provide answers to thought-provoking questions.
While survey questionnaires have often used the pen and paper as main instruments in conducting a survey in the past, the advent of the Internet has made it possible to resort to using web-based questionnaires, which is actually more convenient as it requires less time and resources in gathering data.
Another way of conducting a survey is through interviews. While it requires basically the same types of structured questions as the questionnaire, the face-to-face interaction between the researcher and respondents in an interview gives more opportunity for an in-depth discussion of open-ended questions, thus allowing a better understanding of the respondent’s answers.