Social Science Research Methods

Understanding how to organize data and how it was collected is important in social science research. Go to and browse through some of the data the U.S. government has collected about people, places, and things. Select a particular data set you would like to use for the discussion.
In your post, indicate which dataset you selected. Describe how you would create a random sample, systematic sample, stratified sample, and cluster sample of whatever size you like. What are the differences between these types of samples? (You do not have to download and organize the data for this theoretical discussion.)

Then, discuss the possibility of sampling error (user vs. sample). Do you feel confident in this sample? Where do you think the exact data came from and how do you think it was compiled? Do you think this sample is sufficient for making claims about its population? Why or why not?

In response to your peers, evaluate how their responses differed from yours. Compare and contrast the ways you selected data and determined whether or not it was gathered effectively.

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