In this and the next three chapters you will learn about using research methods from the scientific and ethnographic traditions, beginning with the questionnaire. The questionnaire is a tried and tested method of generating information. This chapter looks at the issues involved in creating a questionnaire, and at the various forms that structured questioning may take and considers how to select a sample of informants. The importance of the data matrix is discussed as a means of investigating, summarising and comparing responses across the totality of those interviewed. Although there is no guaranteed way of devising a trouble-free questionnaire, the chapter offers suggestions for good practice and indicates some obvious sources of poor design.
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