An elementary school teacher wants to know if the words in a book are too difficult for her students. She reads the first sentence of the first page in every chapter and finds three words that her students would not know.
What is the sample in this situation?
the three words her students would not know
the words that she read that her students would know
every word in the first sentence of the first page of every chapter
every word in the book
Since the teacher is concerned with how difficult the words in a whole book would be, we can think of all the words in the book as the population. The sample would then be all the words she actually reads and assesses for difficulty, that is all the words contained in the first sentences of the first page of each chapter of the book. She is sampling using a method called systematic sampling. The three difficult words out of all the words she has read would indicate a level of difficulty that would have to be defined.