Instructions: Population and Sample
To prepare for this assessment, ensure that you have identified the population to be considered in your research concept. This should begin as a general population for which the research problem exists, then a specific population (target population). Explain why the sampling type and design are the best for addressing the population described. Include a rationale for your sample size. Be sure to cite to support your justification.
Developing the research topic required identifying a population. Identifying and defining the population, along with sampling the population, will be the focus of this assessment. Defining the population tends to be general, as it relates to the research topic. For example, if the researcher is interested in studying a population with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), the researcher will need to define this population: all people who have had a mild TBI. A sample is a specific group of the general population that is accessible to the researcher. It should also connect to the research topic—for example, male college athletes who play football at state schools across the United States.
Sampling design is needed to identify how the sample will be accessed. The type of sampling reveals how the sample will be selected. The population and sample must be addressed in the concept paper under the methodology. Use scholarly literature to define and describe the population. Identify the sampling design and type of sampling. Explain why this sampling approach is fitting.
Complete a draft of your population and sample. Complete the Population and Sample sections of the Concept Paper Template. Describe the population in one paragraph (5-7 sentences). Include characteristics of the population that make the population a focus for research. Describe the sample, sampling design, and sampling type, sample size, in another paragraph (5-7 sentences).
Population and Sample
Describe the general population, the target population (include a description of the social setting), and study’s sample. Consider this example when describing the population:
• The general population (i.e., students with disabilities).
• Target population (i.e. students with disabilities in one specific district – geographic location).
• The study sample (students with disabilities in the district that will participate in the study – actual study sample).
Identify the sampling strategy, provide a sample size appropriate for the study design, include a justification. When describing the sample size provide evidence that the sample size is adequate for the research design. As a general rule of thumb, consider the following:
• Absolute Minimum: 50 cases or participants applicable to studies that use frequencies/descriptive statistics and parametric statistical tests (t-tests, ANOVA, correlation, regression analysis)—additional requirements related to the use of certain statistical analysis procedures may increase that number. Survey research = 10 subjects per survey question.
• An a-priori Power Analysis is required to justify the study sample size based on the anticipated effect size and selected design. Include this in addition to using the literature to support your choices.