Sampling is the process of selecting entities from a population of interest in such way that the characteristics of the sample may be generalized to the population from which they were chosen. In order that the sample reflects the characteristics of the total population, rigorous procedures must be followed, best assured by the use of a sampling plan.

A sampling plan is a detailed outline of which measurements will be taken at what times, on which material, in what manner, and by whom. A *statistical sampling plan* follows the laws of probability, allowing you to make valid inferences about a population from the statistics of the samples taken from it. It also lets you determine in advance the magnitude of the sampling errors.

There are many different statistical sampling plans, but we shall discuss just two, whose characteristics lend themselves to the partial audits taken from discovery. The first, ...

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