Academic Literacies and Research Skills
for Social Science Graduate Students

Module Guide

How to Use These Modules

MAP concept3cThese self-study modules are designed to engage you as a learner. If you are a facilitator or educator, please see the Facilitator’s Guide.

There are nine modules that span four broad phases of research, and an additional "pre-module" that will support your work across all of these modules. Each module (represented as M-1 to M-9 stars on the image map) will take approximately three hours to complete. The pre-modules (M-P) will take approximately two hours to complete. (Completion time may vary.) Modules are divided into three sections, each of which is accessible by clicking on the module links.

You may complete the activities in sequence, or enter the module at any section at any time. For a brief overview of the modules, please see the Module Overviews.

Technology Requirements

The technology requirements for using these modules include the following:

  • High-speed internet access
  • A computer that:
    • Enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall)
    • Has multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio)
    • Is capable of running a recent version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari


You can earn badges by completing activites in this module. Activities that earn points towards a badge are linked in a grey button and have a badge icon beside it. 

There are many different types of activity in these modules. Each button will identify the type of activity it links to and will open in a new window:

icon badge button workbook Research Workbook - Each module has its own research workbook that you can save and edit as you work through the modules. Questions and activities in the research workbook are designed to carry forward any practical information you collect in working on your research project. 
icon badge button survey Survey - There are no right or wrong answers in a survey. When you complete a survey you'll get to see how other registered users responded to the questions.
icon badge button quiz Quiz - There are right and wrong answers for these questions. You will have an opportunity to save your quiz results to PDF or send them to an email address of your choice for future reference. You can always redo a quiz.
icon badge button reading Reading - A reading can be an article, a website or blog, or an infographic.


Some of the activities may involve fictional social science graduate students--Tanya, Sameer, and Mei. Their research journeys from students to scholars will provide particular examples and simulated circumstances for your learning.

character tanya
character sameer
character mei


icon bBadges are awarded as evidence of your successful completion of an online module. There are a total of ten badges (one per module). A badge that is not yet completed will appear as "locked," but is still available for completion. Once you have completed all of the required activities in a section of a module, you will receive part of a single badge. Once you have completed all activities within every section of a module, you will have completed the badge and earned the module certificate.  A PDF certificate can be downloaded and sent to your email address using the link on your Acheivements page.

Note: The badge directly on your module screen may not immediately reflect new activities completed. Once you complete an activity, refresh the screen to show that your additional activity has been recorded as completed in that section.

View your completed badges on the Achievements page.

Tips for Completing the Modules:

    • Read the learning outcomes at the beginning of the module to determine the focus of the modules
    • Complete the self-assessment checklist (at the end of each module) before you begin to determine what activities you may need to complete based on your prior knowledge
    • Note that each module will take approximately 3 hours to complete (though completion time will vary; however, there is no time limit for completing these modules
    • View, save, update, and print your Research Workbook items to support your program research (your research workbook is available on the left navigation bar)
    • View the References and Permissions page for more resources on the topic covered by the module
    • Provide feedback on this module through our S2S Contact Form

Additional Resources

To find the definition of a term in any module that is unfamiliar to you, use an online tool such as the Illinois University Library glossary.

Access the modules