What are your very best techniques for convincing graduate students that:
a) their theses and dissertations should have a well defined scope: they should be narrow enough, and then deep;
b) their committees should include the people in the department whose expertise most closely matches their topic;
c) each project they undertake can only address one portion of their heart’s desire;
d) their life work is their life work, not this particular thesis or dissertation (which should, nevertheless, be one part of their life work);
e) they will surely have chosen their topics based on personal tastes and proclivities, but their project should still be an academic project – meaning that its design should take academic needs and standards, and not just personal intellectual interests, into consideration?
I need some new techniques, for I have exhausted mine.