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Research Posters: A 'how to' guide

Posters are an increasingly popular method of disseminating academic knowledge. Whereas they have been a regular occurrence at conferences, specifically in the health sciences, there has been an uptake in the humanities and social sciences over the past few years as instructors employ more varied methods of assessment.

The benefit -- and perhaps the challenge -- of the creation of an effective research poster is the ability to deliver information about a subject in a concise yet visually appealing way.

As you design your poster, consider the University of Illinois' three essential components of a poster:

  1. You. Be prepared to deliver a quick (e.g. 2-3 minute) presentation that clearly demonstrates your expertise and knowledge that exceeds what is summarized on the poster.

  2. Your poster. A poster is not a research paper: it is recommended that you use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and graphics.

  3. A handout [optional]. A one-page hand-out could be permissible that includes contact information, further reading, a brief summary of the content and a screenshot of the poster.