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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > April 2016 > Get to grips with SurveyMonkey

Get to grips with SurveyMonkey

If you want to survey readers, whether its for factual information or feedback, preparation is key, advises Dr Tarja Moles

A survey is a research technique that’s commonly used to collect factual information about individuals, their views, experiences, habits and selfreported behaviour. Surveys tend to be more useful to non-fiction writers, but fiction writers can also benefit from the technique: for example, if you ask your beta readers to give anonymous feedback on the final draft of your novel or short story, you may get more honest comments than you would by asking the same questions face-to-face.

An easy way to create professional-looking online surveys is to use a webbased survey tool SurveyMonkey (www. In addition to helping you design your survey, it helps you collect responses and analyse the results. Its basic features are free (see the box-out), but you do have to register.

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FREE 2016 Competition supplement: Win £400,388 in over 250 writing competitions • The bigger prize: Why comps are good for you , win or lose • Beat the Brontës: Explore Charlotte's style and try your hand in our special competition • How to: Craft credible historical fiction Use humour in your writing Learn from the short story masters • Star interview with TV scriptwriter Sally Wainwright, Bafta-winning author of Happy Valley

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