Key aspects when writing and reading the results
When reporting the survey results, there is no need to present them in the sequence that the questions were asked. Rather, it is more understandable from the readers’ point of view to present the results in terms of topical areas, beginning with the most important.
What should be in the report?
- A summary of the research, describing why a survey research was conducted and listing the major conclusion and recommendations.
- A description of the method, including the type of survey, its contents and psychometric characteristics; the survey design; type of sampling, characteristics of the respondents, and the procedure used to administrate the survey.
- A description of the results, presenting first the main findings and then the more peripheral ones. It is important to explain what statistical tests were used and why, and what was the outcome of the statistical analysis in terms of the hypotheses under test. It is necessary to specify the level of significance used and significant values should be accompanied by the magnitude of the obtained value of the test, degrees of freedom, probability level, and the direction of the effect. Whenever possible, a graphical representation of the most important results should be included to facilitate their interpretation.
- Discussion of the results, alternative explanations and possible limitations.
- Main conclusions and recommendations.
What should NOT be in the report?
- Complex quantitative data and analysis, without clear justification.
- Generalization of the results to the larger population, without a clear assessment.
- Assertions of cause-effect (particularly when only correlations are reported).
- Participants identification and contacts.