1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the mail questionnaire?


First, it is cost efficient compared to other methods. When you use a mail questionnaire, you only pay for the service of sending mail questionnaires. Moreover, one can access geographically distributed samples at minimum cost (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015). Other methods such as interviews and focus groups will require more pay.

Second, since participants are not influenced by the techniques or characteristics of the interviewer, there is reduced biasing error.

Third, interviewers do not meet respondents; therefore, there is a high degree of anonymity for respondents. This is helpful in a situation when the sensitive issues are discussed.

Fourth, with this method, respondents have plenty of time to consult sources or research for answers.


First, the method requires the researcher to administer questions that are simple and easily understood. Therefore, the researcher cannot use the method to get information on complex matters.

Second, the method does not involve the interviewer; therefore, the researcher cannot probe respondents to clarify on some answers.

Third, the researcher has no control over the research process. It is hard to determine individuals who should fill out the questionnaire.

Fourth, when using this method, the response rate of the respondents is low (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015). Many people are reluctant to fill out the questionnaires.


  1. Why is the timing of questionnaire mailing important?

The timing of mailing plays a critical role in the response rate of mail questionnaires. For instance, if the researcher knows that summers and winters are more likely to produce low response rate, he or she should not administer mail questionnaire during that period.

  1. What type of survey research would you use to study drug users? Defend your choice.

In the case of drug users, the type of survey research that I would use is a questionnaire. With this method, I will use predefined series of questions to get the required information from drug users. Besides, I will have to sample a population to answer the survey questions.

  1. Suppose that you are involved with an investigation designed to survey the attitudes of rural residents toward welfare programs. You plan to use a mailed questionnaire, and you have selected your sample. Write the cover letter to accompany this instrument.

Dear participants,

Please find attached a questionnaire that I am requesting you to fill out. Currently, I am conducting a study on the attitude of rural residents towards welfare programs. I would like to get information on the attitude of rural residents towards the welfare programs they know, or they are participating. You will only require a maximum of 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

It is significant to understand that although the study has minimal benefits and risks, the information you will provide will be appreciated. The information will help to understand how rural residents perceive welfare programs. You are free to decide whether to participate or not.

Thank you advance, and I am looking forward to receiving your responses.

  1. List and describe the basic principles of interviewing.

First, participants need assurance that they will have a satisfying and pleasant interaction with the interviewer. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the interviewer to ensure that the participants understand the process and are ready to talk.

Second, respondents need to perceive the interview as being worthwhile. The interview should not only have personal benefits to the respondents but it should encompass critical issues, and the contributions of the respondents are important.

The interviewer needs to overcome barriers that may inhibit respondents from participating (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015). It is important for the interviewer to eliminate any form of misconception.

  1. Briefly discuss the schedule structured, non-schedule-structured, and nonscheduled interviewing techniques.

Schedule-structured: This is the least flexible form of an interview (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015). The questions that the respondents receive are identical regarding the number and wording of the questions.

Nonscheduled-structured: This technique requires respondents to have had a particular experience. The technique involves situations that the respondents have analyzed before coming for the interview.

Nonscheduled interviewing technique: This technique is the most flexible. The interviewer can probe various critical areas. The interviewer has the freedom to ask for specific clarification during the interview.

  1. Compare and contrast the personal interview and the mail questionnaire.

A personal interview is a data collection method that involves the researcher administering questions on a face to face manner. With this method, the interviewer asks the respondents questions meant to get answers that are relevant to the research hypotheses.

With mail questionnaire, the researcher emails out questions to the respondents. The approach allows the researcher to connect to different people. In a situation when the questionnaires do not have postpaid return envelopes, the researchers will get fewer responses (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015).

  1. Write an essay on the principles of interviewing. Be sure to mention the probe technique.

During the interviewing process, the first thing that the researcher should consider is to ensure the respondent cooperates and provides the required information. Similarly, the respondents must have confidence and feel their interaction with the interviewer will be successful. The respondents must be satisfied with the interview process (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015). The study must be worthwhile. The respondent must see the value of the interview so that he or she may get encouraged to continue with the interview. The probing technique is useful during an interview since it allows the interviewer to get more information from the respondents. The technique stimulates the discussion. The interviewer asks the questions, and the respondent provides the answer (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015)

  1. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of the personal interview with those of the telephone interview.


First, telephone interview has moderate cost. The interviewer does not incur travel expenses. The interviewer will only pay for call costs.

Second, regarding speed, a telephone interviewer can interview a large number of respondents in a short time. Telephone interview simplifies the collection of data.

Third, telephone interview exhibits high response rate. The interviewer can access any person even those who are unwilling to participate in a personal interview.

Fourth, regarding quality, the interviewer can collect high-quality data when the interviews are performed in a central location. Additionally, the presence of the supervisors ensures that the interviewer asks appropriate questions and the answers given are recorded properly.


First, some respondents may not want to discuss topics that are sensitive over the telephone. The reluctance to discuss sensitive issues means that the interviewer will not get answers to certain questions.

Second, with the broken-off interview, the respondent may decide to end the interview prior to its completion if he or she is unsatisfied with the process.

Third, it is hard for the interviewer to provide supplemental information regarding the character or environment of the respondent (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015).

  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks of online surveys?


Online surveys are cost effective (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015). The researcher incurs less cost. The cost depends on the mode of the survey.

Regarding speed, the researcher can conduct an online survey around the world in seconds. Additionally, the approach has live feeds; therefore, the researcher can have a real time assessment of the social phenomena.

Online survey provides the researcher with a moderate response rate compared to other research methods.

Online survey allows for automation in data input and handling. After the respondent has answered the questions, the responses are automatically stored in the database, and this allows for follow-ups.


An online survey has a limited sampling frame. The approach is not applicable to the population that does not have access to the internet (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2015).

Online survey does not include an interviewer. The researcher can get less reliable data due to the lack of a trained interviewer to clarify some questions and probe.



Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Nachmias, D. (2015). Research methods in the social sciences (8th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers, a Macmillan Education Company.


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