FAQ and top tips

Find answers to frequently asked questions or common issues relating to research projects.

You can also find more answers to student related questions at the Compass FAQ including Library 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 also be useful to look at before you start work on a dissertation or research project.

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.

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:

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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What should I do if I seem to be reaching a dead end?

If you have found a few resources using Library Search but are struggling to find more then try the following:

  • Try looking at our Improve your search Studyhub page for ideas
  • Try searching in some different places -
    • Look at digital collections including academic databases
    • Try Google Scholar. See our Beyond Google page and look at the section on Google Scholar including how to link Falmouth University or University of Exeter library.
  • Think about how you can use what you have already found as a bridge to finding more information - watch our Snowball searching video for more on this:
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  • Find out what else is out there using Jisc Library Hub which provides details of materials held in many UK national, academic and specialist libraries. If you find something interesting first double check your library doesn't have it.
  • If not, your library may still be able to source this for you even if they don't currently have it. For Falmouth see Borrow, Renew and Request information. And for Exeter see Document delivery.

How can I improve my search if I'm not finding what I need?

Try looking at your starting points - have you thought through your keywords and done some background research?

Have a look at our further activities section which has been designed to help you get started with your research.

Think about how you can improve your search - watch our Advanced Search Techniques video for help with this.

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How do I get help with writing?

See the Written Assignments Study Guide compiled by the ASK Academic Skills team.

You can also book an appointment with the ASK team for writing support or join one of their live writing workshops. 

If you want help with your research though, remember to book an appointment or get in touch with the Academic Liaison Librarian team.

If you need English language support get in touch with the Languages team

Learning Skills and Support provides details of all the Learning Skills and Support teams who can provide help and support


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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Top tips for dissertation research

Have a look at some of our tips below before you embark on your research for your dissertation or research project. Follow the links to useful resources in the infographic.

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Top tips from other students

Tips from other students to help you with your research project
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Top tools for library research

Find out about key tools to help you with your research using the library. See the relevant guide for you (Falmouth or Exeter). 

Each guide has links to tools or resources.

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