Designing Surveys: A Guide to Decisions and Procedures

'Designing Surveys: A Guide to Decisions and Procedures' is an excellent resource for both academics and professionals who are conducting small to moderate sized surveys. Aimed beginners in conducting survey research, this book covers the selection of the sample, the writing of questions to solicit an unbiased response, and the ethical treatment of human subjects. This new edition addresses these issues in the context of new and emerging technologies and their relationship to survey design and the social sciences. Designing Surveys provides practical and realistic account of how modern survey research is actually conducted


"Surveys, even very large and complex ones, are done all the time. And although, to the extent that we can determine, they often produce useful, reliable, and valid results, in many cases they do not.
When the survey enterprise is successful, it is largely because at each stage in designing and conducting surveys, researchers focus on a relatively small number of key scientific principles and practical guidelines that are applied in a series of key decisions. This book provides a practical guidance for the reader to do the same. Although it will not produce the high-level expert produced above, this book is a realistic guide to the effective conducting of small-to-moderate-scale surveys." (p.2)


  • Preface 
  • Acknowledgements 
  • An introduction to surveys and to this book
  • Stages of a survey
  • Selecting the method of data collection
  • Questionnaire design: Writing the questions
  • Questionnaire design: Organizing the questions
  • Questionnaire design: Testing the questions
  • Designing the sample
  • Selecting a sample
  • Reducing sources of error in data collection
  • Special topics
  • Appendix A: University of Maryland Undergraduate Student Survey
  • Appendix B: Maryland Crime Survey
  • Appendix C: American Association for Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices
  • ​References
  • Glossary/Index



Czaja, Ronald and Blair, Johnny (2004). Designing Surveys: A Guide to Decisions and Procedures. Pine Forge Press: Thousand Oaks, California.

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