Research is typically like the parable of the blind men and the elephant (or, to be fair, the learned academics of specialised and discerning vision, and the elephant). Some researchers concentrate on the trunk, some on the tusks, others study the ears, the body, the legs or the tail. But what if you want to look at the big picture and research the whole elephant? Or what if you want to use the methods and insights of ear research to illuminate the tail, or investigate how the tusk and body interact? What if your supervisors are specialists of the legs, but you want to use the methods of tail research when studying the legs? And what if your examiners are specialists of the tusks when you want to synthesise tusk and trunk research? How do you communicate your approach so that your supervisors and examiners do not judge your work to be abnormal and deficient according to the normal research practice of their specialisms? This paper presents theoretically informed and autobiographically illustrated advice for graduate researchers working across established research approaches. The aim is to enable them to position and articulate their research in a clear and compelling manner, and thus avoid painful misunderstandings with their supervisors and examiners. The paper is also useful for any graduate researchers working in an established discipline who find themselves unclear about their research approach, or 'on a different page' to their supervisors.