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Poster Presentations

Sample Poster (typical model for sciences & social sciences)

The template below shows typical section arrangement for a poster in the sciences.


UNI Undergraduate Student Work (all disciplines):

Examples and poster presentation videos:

Poster Sample

Poster Content

  • INCLUDEfunding source, scholarly references, image citations, dept. name, and other specifications provided by your dept. and/or funding agency.
  • MINIMALISM: Minimize text - use a combination of text and images. Keep text elements to 50 words or fewer. Use phrases and bullet points rather than full sentences. Don't try to be comprehensive like you would in a paper--just give highlights. If posters will be available for viewing for many weeks or months, it may be acceptable to have a larger amount of text.
  • LANGUAGE: Use plain language. Avoid jargon and acronyms unless you're really positive your audience will understand. Check with an advisor about using 1st-person (I/me we/us); in some venues 1st-person is discouraged as a way to help objectivity.
  • HEADER: Title should be informative and interesting. Include authors' names in order determined by researchers, with institutional affiliations.
    • Some departments  may require UNI LOGO to be included, usually in in the upper left corner of the header; Programs, departments, and funding agencies (such as Iowa Space Grant) may require their logos be included, usually in header or acknowledgment. See Logos for Download box.
  • CITATIONS: Cite any information and images that aren't common knowledge in the field. It's better to cite too much than not enough. Format according to conventions in the discipline. Not sure? Ask your advisor and/or your department's librarian.

Visual Elements/Graphics

  • FONT: Use a standard, simple font such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. Use large font & make section headings bold and/or a bit larger. Stay consistent – double check that all headings (30-34pt), body text (22-28pt), and graph and photo captions (18pt) are the same.

  • JUSTIFY: Left-justify text; avoid centering and right-justifying text. Check that lines don't break in the middle of words.

  • COLOR: Dark text on light background is best. It is easiest to read and uses less ink when printing.

  • FIGURES: Try to keep tables, graphs, and other images 4x6 or larger. Be sure to caption each image. Include image source using citation style conventions (see Citing Sources box).

  • ARRANGEMENT: Standard arrangement is boxes in columns followed top to bottom and left to right. See examples provided.
  • BALANCE: Have a good visual balance of figures and text, separated by ample white space. Balance occurs when images and text are mirrored (at least approximately) across a central horizontal, vertical, or diagonal axis. Symmetry is key.