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Research Posters

Poster sessions in classes and at conferences are a way to visually convey research. This guide offers the basics in design, content, and printing resources.

Tips for Creating Your Poster

Choosing your content checklist

*Title: Make it compelling and use at least 72 pt. font. 

*Include name, contact information, course number (optional), and UT or UTIA logo.

Research question or hypothesis: Do not copy your abstract if it is included in a conference program. 

Methodology: What is the research process? Explain how you did your research.

If you conducted interviews, include the questions.

Observations: What did you see? Why is this important?

*Findings: What did you learn? Summarize your conclusions.

Themes: Pull out themes in the literature and list in bullet points.

A brief narrative of what you learned - what was the most interesting/surprising aspect of the project?

Interesting quotes from the research.

Data: Use your data to generate charts or tables.

Images: Include images (visit the Images tab in the guide for more information). Take your own photos or legally use others.

Recommendations and/or next steps for future research.

Citations: Only list 3-5 on the poster. If more, put them on a handout.

Acknowledgments: Don't forget to thank your advisor, department, or funding agency. 


*Required. Everything else is optional.

Typography

The 10 Commandments of Typography

More tips

  1. Be creative in the display - think beyond the text. Use boxes, formatting, font, and images to break up sections.
  2. Think carefully about the title. Brainstorm several titles and have a peer/colleague/friend/teacher rank them. The title needs to highlight the subject matter, but it does not need to state all conclusions. Consider a subtitle for more description. The title might be fun and interesting; the subtitle might be more descriptive. Some titles ask questions, others answer them.
  3. Section the poster according to the major points about your research. For example: title, abstract, methodology, data, results, and conclusion. Consider flow - these should be in a logical, easy-to-read order. Most people read from left to right and top to bottom.
  4. Qualitative data (quotes from references and/or interviews) can also be shared. Include captions, legends, annotations, citations, and footnotes, if necessary.
  5. Design the poster as if you were designing for a professional publication. Be consistent with layout, color choices, fonts, and sizes.
  6. All text should be at least 24 pt. font size and an easy-to-read font style.
  7. Remember the “KISS Principle”: Keep It Simple, Stupid! In succinct, brief, jargon-free terms, the poster must explain: 1) the scientific problem (what’s the question?), 2) its significance (why should we care?), 3) how the experiment addresses the problem (what’s the strategy?), 4) the experiments performed (what did you do?), 5) the results obtained (what did you find?), 6) the conclusions (what do you think it means?), 7) caveats (any reservations?) and 8) future prospects (where do you go from here?).
  8. What is the number one mistake made in poster presentations? Too much information! Keep it to the point and and clear. Include more information in a handout or website.