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Designing a Research Poster: Getting Started


Attribution Acknowledgement

The template for this LibGuide was created by the Kraemer Family Library at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Poster Sessions Explained

A research poster is a visual tool that allows to present your research in a graphic way. A research poster should be designed to attract attention and convey information in a clear and organized way.  Well designed posters should work to create conversation between the researcher and the individuals viewing the poster. 

Your research poster will be large (usually 36 x 48 in) and will be printed on high quality poster paper. You will need to have your poster printed professionally. 

What should a research poster contain?

The same major sections as a research paper and some additional identifying information:

  • The Title of Your Study
  • Author's Name and Information (including all co-authors): department, university, and contact information
  • Introduction
  • Materials/Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • Works Cited
  • Acknowledgements: be sure to recognize sources of funding that you may have received

A poster session or poster presentation is the presentation of research information by an individual or representatives of research teams at a congress or conference with an academic or professional focus. A poster session is an opportunity for you to share your research in a creative, visual way. Poster sessions will usually be scheduled for 1-1.5 hours, but may vary with each conference.

Most of the time, each scholar will be given an easel, a cardboard support or corkboard (often with 48" width X 36" height) in order to support the poster. You may be responsible to bring your own push pins or tape. 

Colleagues and peers will move informally between the posters while presenters typically give a brief (1-2 minute) talk about their research and answer questions. If people are reading your poster, you can say "Please let me know if you have any questions" to indicate that it is your poster.

Look like a professional! Participants usually will be dressed in business/professional attire.

There can be three parts to your poster session:

  1. Your poster
  2. You
  3. An optional handout

If you chose to do a handout, it should have two sides. The first side of the paper should include a picture of your poster (this can be in black and white or color). The second side of the handout should include your cited references, further information about your topic and your contact information.

All three components should complement one another, not repeat each other. It's nice to know ahead of time if you will have a small table for your handouts and/or business cards. You may not want to hold anything in case some one would like to shake your hand.

Your poster should be an outline of your research with interesting commentary about what you learned along the way.


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