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Student Research Poster Presentations: Getting Started

Guidelines, tips, templates and more about how to create an academic research poster

Student Research @ Douglas College


Undergraduate Research Days


Welcome to the student research poster guide. These pages highlight some useful resources to assist you with presenting your research investigations poster style.   

What is a Research Poster?

Posters are widely used in the academic community.  Research posters summarize information or research concisely and attractively to help publicize it and generate discussion. The poster is usually a mixture of a brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. At a conference, the researcher stands by the poster display while other participants can come and view the presentation and interact with the author. It typically contains the same components as an academic paper, but modified for the different medium.

This means: Less text, shorter sentences, bullets and graphics when possible, references section (even if small font)

Use this guide to help you create an academic research poster and enjoy Douglas College Student Research Day!

7 Quick Tips

For more information go to Design Tips, Examples and Templates tab.

1.    The title of your poster should invite the curiosity of your viewers, be big enough to allow easy viewing, and be concise.

2.    Authors' names should be smaller than the title.

3.    The content of the poster should generally follow the logic of a scientific paper. 

  • Introduction: present your problem as clearly and concisely as possible.
  • Methods: describe your methodology in 2 to 3 sentences.
  • Results: use graphs and tables to summarize the main findings of the study.
  • Discussion: make clear arguments based on analyzed data and information.
  • Conclusion: usually located on the right side of the poster.
  • References: should not distract the viewer from viewing the main content of the conference poster.

4.    Use fonts that do not taper at the ends, say Helvetica or Arial. Avoid Times Roman or similar fonts.

5.    Use blank space strategically to break up your content and make your poster visually pleasing. 

6.    Use colour to attract viewers, but don't overdo it.

7.    Avoid presenting lots of details.  Present the most interesting ones.  

© Patrick A. Regoniel 24 December 2010 7 Guidelines on How to Prepare a Conference Poster


Douglas College Student Research Day

View photos from previous student research days from New Westminster and David Lam events