Clarksville Area Telephone Survey (TDI)
due in two weeks

If we were looking at reasons why an outsider might or might not want to locate a business in the vicinity of Clarksville, TX, we could look at how local residents feel about Clarksville as a place to live.  Although an online survey could quickly and cheaply give us some important insights about what people like (or dislike) about living in the Clarksville area, we (members of this class) know that more open-ended exploratory research should be conducted first.  We additionally know that it is important to design an appropriate sampling plan.  One way to interview people is through telephone depth interviews.  Below is a letter that could be sent to this client to propose a TDI study.  On the assumption that our client agrees that a telephone survey should be conducted in the manner proposed in this letter, write the script for the TDI. 

Your survey must include a combination of quantitative measures as well as exploratory qualitative probes.  For the sake of a classroom assignment, your quantitative questions must include at least one each of a Likert scale, a semantic differential scale, and a nominal or ordinal scale of styles that were discussed in this course.  Do not invent your own kinds of scales. 

Refer to our earlier focus group recruiting screener assignment: your telephone survey must be based on the same general research objectives of that study as well as follow the same general issues of sampling (e,g., age 18 or older, live in same zip code for two years, etc.).  In these telephone surveys, however, we would like to interview a total of 100 respondents with 55 living within the immediate area of Clarksville and 45 living in the outlying areas.

For a survey of this type, it is appropriate to offer a participation incentive via an honorarium.  For this study, indicate to the respondent that the survey is expected to take fifteen minutes and that an honorarium of $25 will be sent if the respondent qualifies to take the survey and completes the survey. 

Perceptions regarding confidentiality are crucial.  Therefore, you must include the following confidentiality statement in your initial offer to conduct the survey: "Your identity will not be shared with anyone.  Any lists or other information with your name will be shredded after this project is completed."

Note that it is likely that you would not be administering the survey yourself.  Therefore, anything is not meant to be read on the phone should be put in bold and capital letters.  Be sure to clearly identify branches and skips when needed.  Don't forget to identify your survey form with the study number and study title.


Dear Ms. Clarks,

As a followup to our telephone conversation, here is a proposal to help find answers to the kinds of questions that you had.  Although a past study found some general criteria that travelers might use in evaluating a city, we don't know what residents of Clarksville do for recreation and entertainment and we don't know how much they spend on these things.  Importantly, we don't know what people would like to see that Clarksville does not have.


The present study would be an initial exploration into questions associated with what residents of Clarksville and the surrounding areas do for entertainment and recreation and what isn't offered that they would like to see.


Our proposal is to randomly call Clarksville area residents, limiting respondents to a quota sample of heads of households that includes people within the confines of Clarksville and some people who live in areas that are in outlying areas (e.g., Bagota, TX).  The respondent's location would be determined by asking the zip code as an initial screening question after the introduction.  Once past initial screening questions, we would continue to interview the respondent if s/he is willing.  The total number of respondents in the study would be 100, including 45 from outlying areas and 55 in the immediate vicinity.

Question Areas

Recommended survey flow is as follows:

  1. Initial screening questions regarding the appropriateness of the person on the phone to participate in the survey would include the person's age, where s/he lives (Clarksville or an outlying area), and if s/he has lived in the area for at least two years.

  2. Question regarding the person's education level.

  3. Question regarding the person's income level.

  4. Question(s) regarding total weekly expenditures on all forms of entertainment outside of the home.

  5. Question(s) regarding the person's attitudes about various kinds of entertainment that Clarksville might consider hosting.

  6. Question(s) regarding whether the person would attend various kinds of entertainment if hosted in Clarksville.

  7. Question(s) regarding what kinds of entertainment the person would like to see in Clarksville.


Some of the questions will be quantitative (e.g., attitude scales) and some questions will be qualitative (open ended).  We will provide you with a summary of the numerical averages of responses to quantitative questions, and will provide a written summary of the qualitative responses.  Where appropriate, these will be broken out by respondent demographics.


Our estimated timeline is as follows:

Week 1: Write and edit a telephone questionnaire (in consultation with and approved by you).

Weeks 2 and 3: Conduct the telephone surveys.

Week 4: Compile and analyze data, write reports.

Week 5: Present results to you orally and in written report form.


Since the materials that we would consume are part of the normal, reasonable costs for a student, there will be no cost to you for materials.  Since this is a student learning project, there also would be no cost to you for time.  However, since students cannot be asked to incur the costs of long distance phone calls to outlying areas, you would have to allow these calls to be made from your shop.

Ms. Clarks, please let me know if you need any additional information.  Thanks for considering us in the conduct of your research.


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Assistant Project Director