FAQ and top tips

Find answers to frequently asked questions or common issues facing new students using the library for the first time.

You can also find more answers to student related questions at the Compass FAQ 

If you haven't found an answer to your question please contact the library team directly via email, phone or using Library Chat.

Our top tips resources below may be useful before you start using the library or when you are approaching your first assignment.

You may also want to check out our new starters checklist and Bitesized activities.

How do I find out about services and collections available in the library?

Visit the FXPlus library website for more information about services and collections.

Exeter students will also want to visit the University of Exeter library website.

Our introduction to the FXPlus library website gives you a guided tour.

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How do I find online resources in the library?

Falmouth students:

  • You can start with Library Search to find resources which you can access online. If you need help with using this we have video playlist to show you how to search in different ways.
  • You may also want to visit the library subject guides for some recommended resources from the library team.
  • Our Subject Guides video introduces these to help you get started.
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Exeter students:

Are there any tools I can use to help with referencing?

Find out all about referencing tools in our Reference Management Tools video below.

You can find more information about referencing in the Referencing Study Guide

Support with referencing is available from the ASK Academic Skills team

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How can I get help from a librarian?

If you want to talk to a librarian about your research you can use the Book A Librarian service to make an online or face to face appointment. You can also come to a drop in session if you are on campus.

If you want support with the writing process or referencing please make an appointment with the Academic Skills team.

Top tips for getting started

Listen to some top tips on getting started using the library and looking ahead to your first assignment.


Top Tips (2:57 min)

Listen to this compilation of top tips taken from the interviews with staff in the Library Pathway podcast series.



What would be your Top Tips for new students? 

1) Google or Wikipedia is fine for some initial searches to scope out your research topic. So yeah, just be sensible when you're using the web for your research. The most important thing is just to think critically about them. Take a moment to check what they are, where they come from, before you decide whether you want to use them. 

2) TV programs like newspapers, they can be a good source, especially TV documentaries. One of the advisors in the inclusive team said to me that it's a really good place to prime your brain. If you find reading challenging, then you know, TV documentary can be a really great place to start to understand “what are the key concepts in this thing I'm looking at?”, and “what's the key vocabulary?” and get that all into your brain. And then when you come to do the reading that you've been asked to do for your course, you're going to find that easier, because those things are already there.  

3) I wanted to emphasize that we have the most amazing video collection here that's growing all the time. It's a physical collection. But it's also a very rich and growing streaming collection, we have access to something called Box of Broadcasts, and once you sign u, you don't need a TV licence while you're at Uni. Because it has all UK TV and radio channels and an archive of broadcast programs. 

4) Come to your library induction, or at least come for a walk around library before you need to use it. Learning how to use the library early on means that all your studying will be that much easier. Because you can use the library like a tool instead of learning to use that tool as you go. 

5) Always bring your student ID card. The other thing is don't be afraid to come and ask the staff at the help desk. Please just come and ask. 

6) My top tip would be, I would say it's a good idea for the first few assignments to do the referencing manually. Rather than using an app or an online tool. Do it as you go. Every time you sit or do a bit of reading, start to take notes, make a note of all the bibliographic detail. 

7) Look at whatever is given to you on the learning space. So module guides, assignment briefs, anything that tells you what's expected for the assignment, and then you try and just go at it really and try and really pick it apart. 

8) My first one would be to be curious, be curious when reading, watching or listening to something. Be aware of the ideas and references mentioned in whatever you're reading or listening to or watching. These can lead you to other useful resources. 

9) Come in use the space. It's your space, so make the most of it. And if you're ever unsure about anything, just come and ask at the desk.