Aim: The cognitive goal of this article is to enrich the knowledge of the principles for constructing survey questionnaires and answer the question “what principles should researchers obey while constructing a questionnaire”. The utilitarian goal consists in the indication of errors and problems that researchers may face while creating a questionnaire as well as presentation of the possible effects of failing to obey the principles of questionnaire design in relation to the quality of research. q q

Introduction: Appropriate preparation of a questionnaire is the most important factor which determines the success of the study. Some examples of the mistakes that can be made by a questionnaire designer are: too long questionnaires, wrong order of the questions and the lack of significant questions that may be needed to outline the problem comprehensively. If a survey is boring, tedious or confusing the respondents are less engaged in fulfilling it. Sometimes, in order to complete it faster, they give random answers. To avoid these errors the researchers should follow the principles of designing questionnaires.

Methodology: At the initial stage, the research problem was identified and clarified. An analysis of literature, examples of surveys and other research materials formed the basis for the selection of research methods and techniques. In the main part of the executive research procedure, the research was conducted using the following research methods, techniques and tools. The analysis has been applied mainly in the research of documents and literature. It covered scientific, research and didactic works and sample questionnaires. The results from indirect and participatory observations were mainly synthesised. At all stages of the research which aim was to identify common denominators, similarities and differences between research topics, especially in the comparison of erroneous questionnaires and a model ones, a comparison was used. To reveal the characteristics and relationships, the possibility of combining them according to adopted criteria and formulation on that basis universal principles, the authors applied generalization. The method of inference by analogy was used to formulate conclusions and proposals in cases where the similarities between selected items were noticeable. The methods of induction and deduction helped to generate new assertions and conclusions. The final, third stage of the research, consisted in gathering research results together, making of them a logical generalization and systematization.

Conclusions: The article presents a set of principles to be followed in the construction of a questionnaire, with a particular focus on errors that can be made during its design. The authors of this article also drew attention to the most common mistakes in questionnaire and their impact on the quality and reliability of the whole research process.

Keywords: questionnaire, principles of questionnaire construction, survey errors, structure of questionnaire, res

Type of article: review article