How to write a survey report with a conclusion
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An effective survey report should be clear, concise and explained in laymen's terms. It should have plenty of qualitative and quantitative evidence without bogging down paragraphs and the flow of the report with too many numbers.
The introduction should note what the survey is about, why it was conducted and how the information will be used. The body of the report discusses each question that was asked and elaborates on the breakdown of responses. The conclusion, meanwhile, should note the key findings in case the reader doesn't have to time to go over the entire report.
- An effective survey report should be clear, concise and explained in laymen's terms.
- The conclusion, meanwhile, should note the key findings in case the reader doesn't have to time to go over the entire report.
Start with introduction or executive summary that explains the methodology of the survey. It should note how many people were interviewed, how they were interviewed (by phone, in person or questionnaire), the dates of the research and the geographical area covered by the survey. According to Audience Dialogue, it's also important to note who was excluded from the survey. For example, if property owners were asked whether they'd accept a tax increase to fund a lighted playing field for the local high school football team, mention that renters, children and others who don't pay property taxes were excluded.
Organise the body of the report to include an explanation of each question and the breakdown of responses. Audience Dialogue says to note how many people were asked each question, even though the introduction or executive summary will note the total number of people surveyed. A sample of responses to open-ended questions should be included. For example, if five survey respondents said they would support a tax hike to fund the lighted high school football field and five said they would not, the paragraph should note those numbers in addition to the more common responses from each camp. Example: "I don't mind paying an extra £6 a year if the entire community has a facility we can be proud of." Or, "Taxes are already high enough. When does it end?"
- Organise the body of the report to include an explanation of each question and the breakdown of responses.
- Audience Dialogue says to note how many people were asked each question, even though the introduction or executive summary will note the total number of people surveyed.
Summarise the key facts and most notable findings in the conclusion. Again, if five people said they support a tax hike to fund the lighted football field and five said they don't support it, the conclusion would begin by saying, "At this time the proposed field is a divisive issue." If the survey found that homeowners who make more than £65,000 a year overwhelmingly support the proposal while those who make less than £65,000 overwhelmingly oppose it, that should also be noted in the conclusion, even if these facts are noted higher in the body of the report. An appendix with tables, charts and graphs illustrating the breakdown of those surveyed and survey responses should be included in the pages after the conclusion. According to Audience Dialogue, you should include a copy of the questionnaire that went out during the survey period in the appendix.
Aaron Gifford is based in New York. He has been on staff at the "Syracuse Post-Standard," the "Watertown Daily Times" and the "Oneida Daily Dispatch." He's also written for "Long Island Newsday," "Empire State Report" magazine and "In Good Health." He has been writing professionally since 1995. Gifford holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University at Buffalo.