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Writing a Survey Research Paper: determining Four main Methods 

There are four primary methods that people us then it comes to gathering information that is needed in survey research. This data can be gathered with mail surveys, a variety of in-person interviews, simple telephone interviews, and the increasingly popular internet surveys. Here is a little more information about these four methods.

Mail Surveys

Mail surveys are a method that involves sending out the questionnaire or survey to selected individuals via US postal service. The participants will fill out the papers and send them back in the envelopes provided in the packet. Most surveys sent out by mail are sent to target individuals but they can also be developed to be sent to random individuals for a better sampling of the target audience. The biggest benefit is surveys are sent out to a wider range of people. The biggest drawback is that many people simply thrown them out as junk mail.

Personal Interviews

Personal interviews are common among scientific researchers or when specific quotes and feedback are necessary. It is also used when lengthy response are expected that do not work well with other survey methods. They can be more relaxed or formal, depending on what the subject matter being discussed is. Notes can be taken or often times if the interviews are long or involved, then the entire thing will be recorded and reviewed later. The biggest benefit to this method is greater flexibility in questions. The biggest drawback is many people don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers.

Telephone Interviews

Interviews can be conducted via telephone calls and these have been done for many years. They were the dominant way of getting feedback and data quickly as it was faster than snail mail in a time before most people had internet access. Phone interviews can be as long or short as needed. The biggest benefit to this research method is it allows for quick data and helps the researcher target specific households more effectively. The biggest drawback is most people do not answer the phone anymore for a number they do not recognize or they hang up once they realize it is a survey type of call.

Internet Surveys

Since the internet has become so popular and wide spread across American households, many researchers are using internet surveys to reach their target audiences and collect their information and data. Surveys are emailed to participants who can then fill it out and send it back. The biggest benefit to internet surveys is they are fast and can be totally anonymous too. The biggest drawback to these surveys is spam filters can keep them from being seen and many people are too busy to sit and take surveys unless they get something from it.