Survey-Building Programs

If you conduct your primary research with a survey, you will need to build that survey for distribution. Surveys can be distributed in person (on paper or orally) or online (electronically). No matter which distribution mechanism you select, you will want to design a clear, easy-to-complete survey. It is best to send it to yourself first and, if possible, a friend to check and test your survey before sending it out. Be sure that you can access the survey and that it is easy to read, see, and understand.

This section offers an overview of some of the online tools you can use to build your survey:


Qualtrics is the online survey software that is sponsored by the University of Mississippi. The university has purchased a site license that allows all university faculty, students, and staff to use the survey software at no additional cost to the users.

To use Qualtrics, you first want to visit the main Qualtrics page that provides links to the registration and login pages as well as useful answers to frequently asked questions about the software. Although you have unlimited access to Qualtrics as a student, you first need to register your account. Use your university email address to register your account, and choose a password that you will remember. (Note: your Qualtrics password will not be the same as your usual and regularly changing university password for email, Blackboard, and other online activities.)

There are too many functionalities of Qualtrics to cover them all in this overview, but here are a few to note:

  • In the upper-right hand corner of the screen, there is a green button that allows you to change your question type. The default is a multiple choice question, but you should start your survey instead with a Descriptive Text box where you provide the necessary information for gaining informed consent.
  • For all questions, you click into the text box(es) to edit the text.
  • To add more questions, you simply click on “Create a New Question,” the green button underneath the first question.
  • In the right-hand column, you can adjust a number of items:
    • The number of responses you want to offer. If you choose a “Matrix Table” question, you can adjust both the number of statements and the number of scale points you want to offer.
    • The type of response requested: single answer, multiple answer, etc.
    • Whether you want to require an answer to that question, which is done by clicking the “Force response” box.
  • On the left, under each question, the gear icon allows you to use both display and skip logic, if that is a requirement for your survey.

Once you are done building and editing your survey, you have a few options for distribution.

  • For online distribution, click first on Distributions and then on “Get a single, reusable link.” The link that appears is a static link that you can provide to your respondents for completing your survey.
  • For in-person distribution, click first on Tools and then on Export Survey to Word. This creates a download that you can open in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You can then edit the survey for formatting before printing it for distribution.
    • Note: this is also a simple way to put your survey in an appendix at the end of your Research Prospectus.

When you want to analyze your collected data, click on Reports. From that page, you can see the answers to all of the questions you asked. Qualtrics will automatically create graphs for specific types of questions. You can export a graph by hovering over the visual and then clicking on the 3 vertical dots that appear in the upper right-hand corner and choosing “Export, Image File.” A .png file will download that you can insert into documents as you see fit.

Google Forms

Google Forms is online survey software that you can access with your account. Google Forms is simplified version of Qualtrics and is likely sufficient for your WRIT 250 survey needs.

To get started on creating a basic Google Form follow these steps:

  • Go to Google Forms.
  • Sign in with your account, if you have not already.
  • Click “Blank” form.
    • This will take you to a blank survey, where you can add or remove questions.
    • You can also change the question types to long or short answers, check boxes, and/or multiple choice, along with other question types.
    • On the right hand side, you can add images, videos, titles, and more questions as well.
  • On the top right of the page, you can change the appearance of your survey, preview it, and determine who can or can’t have access to your survey.
    • The automatic setting restricts the survey to University of Mississippi accounts, so it is best to uncheck the box.
    • It is usually best to click on “Limit to 1 Response” as well.
  • Once you finish, click “Send” in the top right corner and you will be given the option of emailing it, copying the survey link, and/or embedding it into your site.
    • You can also click the social media icons on the right to share it immediately on your Facebook, Google Plus, and/or Twitter page.
  • Once your survey is sent out and you receive responses, just go back to your Google Form, click “Responses,” and you will be able to see your overall results as well as individual responses.


Another method for designing your survey online is a website called SurveyMonkey. While you would have to pay for an account with as much flexibility and functionality as Qualtrics or Google Forms, you can sign up for a free account that allows for an unlimited number of surveys that have up to 10 questions each and can receive up to 100 responses each. To use this site, simply register a free account and build your survey.