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Summer Research Institute 2019: Making a Presentation Poster

This guide aims to give you some general guidelines on the design of posters for academic presentations, as well as to help with the specific task of creating a poster for the Barnard Summer Research Institute poster session on July 31st, 2019. 

If you don't yet have final results, or even any results, for your summer project, that's no problem! The poster is simply a status report of what you have been doing and should include answers to the 
following:

  • What is my scientific question?
  • Why is it relevant?
  • What methods am I using? 
  • What results do I already have?
  • What are my next steps? 

The poster should have:

  • The main elements of an academic scholarly science paper, i.e. Introduction, Goals/Hypotheses, Methods, (Preliminary) Results and Discussion, Conclusions/Next Steps, and References. 
  • A small amount of text (<50% of the space), with diagrams, images, and charts used to convey most of the content. 
  • Attractive, easy-to-read fonts, preferably sans-serif, e.g. Arial, Calibri, or Trebuchet
  • A strong, cohesive message about your research

Other things to keep in mind: 

  • Make your poster easy for the audience to read by: 
    • avoiding wordiness, unnecessary jargon, and abbreviations that aren't commonly known
    • using bullet points instead of full paragraphs wherever possible
    • making the text large enough to be read from 5-6 feet away; it should be large enough that it can be read from a normal reading distance when the poster is printed out on 8½  x 11 paper (probably not smaller than Arial 20pt font).
  • Think about your target audience. Given that the audience for the SRI poster session is a non-expert audience, please avoid subject specific jargon and use plain English. how would you best communicate with them?

  • It's a good idea to prepare a very brief summary of your research that you can deliver in 30 seconds, and a slightly longer presentation of 4-5 minutes to guide audience members through your the figures on your poster and its main points.