KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

Do We Need to Create New Questions, or Can We Use Existing Questions?

Do We Need to Create New Questions, or Can We Use Existing Questions?

Erin Ruel

If there are existing questions that have been shown to provide good results, it makes sense to use those existing questions. To know if existing questions will provide good results, we need to see the research that has used these existing questions and learn what the research on the existing questions says about their utility. It certainly speeds up the questionnaire design process if we can find existing questions. One place to search for existing questions is the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data archive at the University of Michigan (

In checking on existing questions’ validity and reliability, make sure to determine if they are culturally ...

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