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How to Conduct Surveys
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How to Conduct Surveys
A Step-by-Step Guide

Sixth Edition


December 2015 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Packed with new topics that reflect today’s challenges, the Sixth Edition of the bestselling How to Conduct Surveys guides readers through the process of developing their own rigorous surveys and evaluating the credibility and transparency of surveys created by others. Offering practical, step-by-step advice and written in the same clear and accessible style as author Arlene Fink’s other works, the book focuses on choosing the appropriate type of survey, writing survey questions and responses, formatting the survey, deciding on the characteristics and numbers of respondents to include, choosing how often to survey respondents, and analyzing and reporting the results. 

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Preface
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1: Conducting Surveys: Everyone Is Doing It
What Is a Survey?

 
When Is a Survey Best?

 
Self-Administered Questionnaires and Interviews: The Heart of the Matter

 
The Friendly Competition

 
A Survey Continuum: From Specific to General Use

 
Ethics, Privacy, and Confidentiality

 
Children and Survey Ethics

 
International Surveys

 
Formal Standards for Ethical Surveys

 
 
Chapter 2: The Survey Form: Questions, Scales, and Appearance
The Content Is the Message

 
Define the Terms

 
Select Your Information Needs or Hypotheses

 
Make Sure You Can Get the Information

 
Do Not Ask for Information Unless You Can Act on It

 
Writing Questions

 
Organizing Responses to Open-Ended Survey Items: Do You Get Any Satisfaction?

 
Rules for Writing Closed Survey Questions

 
Responses for Closed Questions

 
Rating Scales

 
Children and Surveys

 
Online Surveys

 
Plain and Simple Survey Questions and Responses

 
Scaling

 
 
Chapter 3: Getting It Together: Some Practical Concerns
Length Counts

 
Getting the Survey in Order

 
Questionnaire Format: Aesthetics and Other Concerns

 
Branching Questions, or the Infamous “Skip” Pattern

 
Administration: Who Gives What to Whom?

 
Reliability and Validity: The Quality of Your Survey

 
Selecting and Adapting Surveys

 
Finding Surveys on the Web

 
The Survey Is Put on Trial: Guidelines for Pilot Testing

 
A Far-Reaching World: Surveys, Language, and Culture

 
 
Chapter 4: Sampling
Sample Size and Response Rate: Who and How Many?

 
Random Sampling Methods

 
Stratified Random Sampling

 
Simple Random Cluster Sampling

 
Systematic Sampling

 
Convenience Samples

 
Other Convenience Sampling Methods

 
Finding the Sample: Who Is In? Who Is Out?

 
How Large Should Your Sample Be?

 
Statistical Methods: Sampling for Two Groups and an Intervention

 
Response Rate

 
Weighting

 
Margin of Error and Confidence Level

 
 
Chapter 5: Survey Design: Environmental Control
Which Designs Are Available?

 
Cross-Sectional Survey Designs

 
Longitudinal Surveys

 
Experimental Survey Designs

 
Other Survey Designs: Normative and Case Control

 
Case Control Design

 
Survey Design Validity

 
Surveys, Research Design, and Internal and External Validity

 
Surveys With Qualitative Data: Threats to Internal and External Validity

 
 
Chapter 6: Analyzing and Organizing Data From Surveys
What Is Typical Anyway? Some Commonly Used Methods for Analyzing Survey Data

 
Surveying Differences: Usual Methods

 
To Be or Not to Be: Statistician or Qualitative Analyst?

 
Content Analysis, Open-Ended Responses, and Comments

 
Putting the Cart in Front of the Horse: Selecting Analysis Methods

 
Data Management

 
 
Chapter 7: Presenting the Survey Results
Reproducing the Questionnaire

 
Using Tables

 
Drawing Pie Diagrams

 
Using Bar Graphs

 
Using Line Graphs

 
Drawing Diagrams or Pictures

 
Writing the Results of a Survey

 
Survey Reporting Checklists and Guides

 
The Oral Presentation

 
Slide Presentations

 
Oral versus Written Reports: A Difference in Conversation

 
 
Index

The book is very readable with an easy-to-follow structure and lots of practical advice. For example, Fink provides a useful table on the pros and cons of using different survey types. Examples taken from real-life surveys are also used to good effect throughout, helping to make the text more engaging. The summing up section at the end of each chapter is also a helpful reference for readers to know where to find what they might need and to check their own understanding.

Jo Lea
National Children's Bureau

Was a good resource for DBA students conducting research.

Dr Mike Guerra
Business Admin Economics Prog, Lincoln University
November 20, 2015
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • Discussion of validity and reporting of qualitative survey data addresses the values of and “threats” to the validity of qualitative studies, along with guidance on transparently reporting purposes and methods.
  • Discussion of margin of error and confidence levels prepares readers to be aware of imperfections in all surveys.
  • Coverage on surveys involving children addresses how to design a survey that reaches children, getting reliable and valid information, the differences between doing a survey for young children and doing one for teens, the difference between assent and consent in children, and how to accommodate ethics boards when surveying children.
  • Guidance on international surveys takes into account the increased use of smartphones and access to the Internet and helps readers respect cultural differences in designing and asking questions involving international audiences.
  • Coverage of the standard survey report checklists now required by many journals, businesses, and educational institutions prepares readers to produce transparent survey reports.
  • Many new practice exercises in every chapter promote hands-on learning to develop skills in analyzing, evaluating, and producing information.

 KEY FEATURES:

  • Helpful examples make it easy to learn how to apply relevant concepts.
  • Summing Up sections that highlight each chapter’s most important concepts help readers master key content.
  • Making the Decision sections help readers make informed choices by citing the advantages and disadvantages at each waypoint.
  • Standard checklists for writing transparent survey reports prepare students to write and report on their own rigorous surveys.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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