KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

How Do We Select a Sample if the Population Is Not Easy to Find?

How Do We Select a Sample if the Population Is Not Easy to Find?

Erin Ruel

Selecting a random sample is based on being able to locate and list all population members on a sampling frame. The population is not always available for us to list. Some populations, such as the homeless or the marginalized (drug users, drug dealers), are not easy to find. They are not listed in phone books and they don’t advertise their occupations and hobbies or have clubs or associations. Therefore, a random sample is not always possible.

When we cannot create a sampling frame, we have to use a nonprobability sampling method. Nonprobability samples are not generalizable. So, turning to a nonprobability sample means losing one of the greatest strengths of ...

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