Sample Size in Research – Important Tips for Masters & PhD Dissertation

Sample Size in Research

The sample size is the most important factor in the research. The larger the sample size, the more representative your research is, and there are fewer chances of error due to sampling. But with larger sample sizes comes higher costs and higher time consumption. So, it is important to understand what constitutes a good sample size in research based on its requirements before beginning your Masters and PhD dissertation.

What is the Sample Size in Research?

The sample size is the number of people or things from which data is collected. It is important because it helps to determine the accuracy of the results. Your research question and budget usually determine the sample size. There are two main types of samples:

– A random sample is one in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected. A simple random sample (SRS) is a type of random sample where each individual in the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample. This method can be used when you don’t know the total number of people that make up the population or if they are spread out over a large area.

– A non-random sample is one in which the people in the sample are not selected randomly. For example, if you want to know what people think about a topic and there is only one polling place in town, then every person who votes at that polling place would be considered a member of your population.

The Larger the Sample Size, the Better.

The larger the sample size, and therefore how many observations are being made per variable (e.g., gender), your findings are likely to be generalizable to a wider population and more accurate.

However, it is important to note that increasing the sample size does not necessarily increase the quality of your results as other factors such as study design and implementation can have a greater impact on their accuracy. The research question and budget should determine the size of your sample.

If this is your first time conducting a study, it may be best to start small and work your way up over time; if you have an idea of what questions you want answered but don’t know how to get started, get masters dissertation help. You can also check out this article on how to write a research question.

The Problems with Large Sample Size in research:

The problems with large sample sizes are that they:

  • Are expensive to conduct. The more people you want to interview or ask for feedback, the more money it costs and the longer it takes. Also, if you’re asking them to fill out a survey or perform some other task, they’ll be less motivated to do so if there are too many participants on your list (and conversely, you may get more responses if your list is shorter).
  • Are time-consuming to conduct. You have to wait for people’s responses and then analyze those responses to conclude what those results mean for your research question(s). This can take months or even years! For example: Let’s say that instead of 200 participants in our sample size calculation above (which would cost $1 million), we had 5 million potential participants – how long would it take us now? Using the same sample size calculator as above but with 5 million instead of 200 gives us an answer of 20 days! That means each participant will take 40 times longer than before (or $40). And remember that when using larger samples sizes, there’ll also be many more responses which means more time spent analyzing them all carefully as well

What is a Good Sample Size for a Research Study?

In research, the sample size is the number of participants selected to participate in a study. This can include both quantitative and qualitative research studies. The sample size for a qualitative research study should typically be between 5 and 15 participants. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you can only have those exact numbers of people participate in your study; these are the ideal ranges for getting representative data. For example, suppose you have 10 participants, and each person has a different experience with your product or service. In that case, you may not be able to conclude what users think about it overall.

When determining how large your sample size in research should be, there are several things you should consider:

  • The population from which your study will draw its data must be representative of the larger population that interests you. If this is not possible, a larger number of participants would be needed to ensure validity. For example, if you intend on studying people over 50 years old but only have access to 20-40 years old in your area, then it would not be wise to use them as your target audience because they may have different needs than those over 50 years old (who may need more support or resources).
  • The cost of running a research project increases significantly with increased participant numbers, so keep this in mind when deciding how many participants you want/need for your project and make sure they don’t exceed budget limitations!

How to Determine the Appropriate Sample Size in research?

To determine the appropriate sample size for your study, you first need to know what you are trying to achieve through your study. You can use one of the following methods:

  • Size of the population (how many members are there in total?)
  • Required precision (how accurate do you want your results?)
  • Required power (what chance do you have of finding a significant result?)

Remember that these calculations may be different if you’re working with non-numerical data (qualitative research).

It is better to have a representative sample rather than a large sample. Generally, the greater the sample size in research, the more likely your results will be accurate. However, other factors must also be considered when determining sample size. These include:

  • Study objectives
  • Study resources (time and money)
  • Budget available for this project
  • Timeline for completion of this project


A good sample size in research will give reliable results and hopefully make your research more useful. However, the most important thing is understanding the importance of choosing a representative sample rather than just a large one. Also, this will help you create an effective study design that can be used to answer your research question with confidence.

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