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A verbatim response refers to what an interviewer records as an answer to an open-ended question when writing down the exact words spoken by the respondent. Open-ended questions are those that do not provide a respondent with predetermined response choices and instead allow, expect, and encourage a respondent to answer in his or her own words.

Sometimes open-ended questions have “precoded” response categories for interviewers to use, but these are not read to a respondent. In these instances interviewers are trained to listen to the answer a respondent gives and then “fit” it into one of the precoded choices. However, this is not always possible to do for all given responses, so even with precoded open-ended questions, some verbatim responses that do not fit into any ...

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