Hello, John. Come in and sit down.You're here to discuss your research project, are you? Yes. I've more or less decided what to do, but I'd like your opinion. Fine. You've chosen a topic? Yes, I want to look at how people use public services in their local area. Things like parks and swimming pools. Right. Well, the kind of information you'll get is very useful for town planning, of course. Do you have a special interest in public services? Not really. It's just that I found a report in the college library about an investigation that was done ten years ago, and I Thought it would be interesting to do a parallel one. 10 years is a relatively short space of time. What do you expect to find?Do you think things will be more or less the same as before? I think there will be some differences. For example, I think the number of people going to the library will have decreased. And I'd guess that older people are using the sports center more often than they used to. Fine.So those are your hypotheses.Now, what sort of data are you going to use? I was thinking of using official records from the management or the local council and analyzing them. They should be easy to obtain. I don't think that sort of information would be confidential. Yes, you're probably right.There might not be as much information as you'd like, but it would certainly be the easiest kind of data to work with. But have you considered using a questionnaire as well? It's okay to get data from more than one source? Absolutely.It's a bonus. You've already done the module on questionnaire design, haven't you? And it'll be good to get experience, because next year you'll have to do something similar for your final dissertation on a bigger scale. Okay. And what are the variables you'll be looking at?Are you going to look at people's level of education?Whether they have a degree, for example? I hadn't planned to.Do you think I should? Well, you might see some interesting patterns. Okay.And that'll tie in nicely with my plans to analyze the kind of work people do. What about the size of your sample? Have you got any thoughts on the number of questionnaires you might send out? The previous study surveyed 120 people. I don't think I can really analyze more than 50, working by myself, so I should probably distribute about 80 questionnaires altogether to allow for wastage.Do you think that's enough? Definitely. I know that your project guidelines recommend a minimum of 100, but that's an ideal number.And you're working by yourself. And anyway, this assignment is mainly about giving you practice in research methods. Right. and think of ways you can encourage people to actually complete the questionnaire. For example, to make sure that your questions make sense, you should try them out beforehand. Okay, that's no problem.My friends will help. Good.Sometimes you get unpredicted responses and you have to rephrase a question. And I know that you usually get a better return if you deliver questionnaires in person,but there will be too many. But I could enclose a stamped envelope for the return post.It's a bit expensive, but I think it would be worth it. Yes.Good. Some people say that another way of increasing returns is to make the questionnaires anonymous. But usually people put their names on anyway, so I don't think that would make much difference. Okay.And can you give me a bit more advice about the questionnaire? Would it be a good idea to have a short paragraph at the top explaining what I'm doing and why? Definitely. And don't forget you'll need to get a bit of information about your subjects, what age group they're in and perhaps how long they've lived in the area. So you'll need questions for that Yes, I suppose that will mean it takes a bit longer to complete. But should I give them my phone number in case there's anything they're not sure about? I wouldn't if I were you.No. Okay.And do I have to use open ended questions as well as closed questions? I know the books say it's better to have a mixture. Well, it depends.In this case, I'd stick to close questions. The results will be much more manageable like that. If I draft some questions tomorrow, would it be okay to bring them?