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Creating a Research Poster

This is a guide based on one from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University Library

What is a poster session?

A poster session is an opportunity for you to share your research in a creative, visual way. Visitors (other students, professors, community guests) will walk among the posters while you give a brief (1-3 minute) talk about your research and answer questions.

A poster session is the presentation of research by an individual or members of a research teams. Typically a separate room or area of a professional or academic conference is reserved for the poster session where researchers accompany a poster, illustrating their research methods and outcomes. 

Creating your poster by answering 3 questions:

  1. What is the most important and/or interesting finding from my research project?
  2. How can I visually share my research with conference attendees? Should I use charts, graphs, images, or a wordcloud?
  3. What kind of information do I need to share during my lightning talk that will complement my poster?

What makes a great poster?

The best way to start the design of your poster is to look to others for examples. Don't be afraid to emulate the style of others, if you see something that works, use it!

  1. A great site to learn about poster design is "Designing Conference Posters" by Colin Purrington.
  2. The Oceanography Society provides Tips for Preparing and Delivering Scientific Talks and Using Visual Aids.
  3. Here is a flickr group of posters and poster sessions.
  4. You can also search Google Images for "poster session."

Poster Template


This guide is based on one created by LEARN to Use the Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University Library.