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Date: Around 1993


Question:
I am presenting a paper a the 7th annual National Conference for Undergraduate Research. I have been selected for a poster session. Could anyone please give me suggestions on how to design this poster?



Replies:
Suggestions:

-Use type that is large enough for someone to read at a distance without eyestrain.

-Have an abstract at the "beginning" which briefly describes what the poster is about. Have a section at the end which BRIEFLY summa rizes the poster's results and your conclusions.

-Use figures wherever you can to explain things rather than words or equations.

-Before you go to your poster session, set up the poster and practice giving a brief presentation of the research. You should make the presentation 5 minutes long (10 max). If they ask questions, then you can go longer because it means that they are interested. If there are no questions, they may have lost interest and you should let them move on to the next poster.

-Practice giving your presentation to a friend or your advisor.

-Below the poster title, you should give your name (first), your advisor(s) name(s), and the name(s) of any coworkers who helped you significantly in the research (i.e. actually did some of the work). If you like, you can have an "acknowledgments" section after "conclusions" in which you thank people for helpful advice or funding who were not listed as poster "authors."

-ACKNOWLEDGE SOURCES FOR WORK WHICH IS NOT ORIGINAL. Citing someone else's work on a poster without acknowledgment is PLAGIARISM, just as if you wrote a paper with someone else's ideas and did not acknowledge the source of those ideas.

Robert Topper


Your goal with a poster is to allow someone who walks up to quickly see what you have done without having to read lots of detail. You also want to have that person engage you in questions or discussion. Keep it very simple and direct. Have a place for someone who is interested to request a reprint if you are not there to talk. Enjoy talking to people about what you have done. Also walk around and ask lots of questions about the other posters.

Sam Bowen


I do not know what your topic is, but if there is anything you could say both in words and in diagrams, choose diagrams. Another thing: provide a complete summary of what you are trying to get across in one paragraph, and direct your viewer's attention to that paragraph. Do not use a single "buzz word" in your summary paragraph (I guess I should really be saying "abstract", rather than "summary") that you do not clarify there. Do not make your viewer wade through the whole poster to figure out whether EPR means electron paramagnetic resonance or Einstein-Podolski-Rosen. Use a few different fonts or type sizes, but do not get crazy, and do not use a zillion colors. Choose a neutral, rather than an eye-catching, shade for the background. Use large type and be succinct. Explain a small number of things well, and do not try to mention everything. Expect only one person to be interested enough to talk to you about your work, and consider your poster a complete success if you get more. Wait patiently while people look at your poster: make eye contact, but let them read. The folks you really want to talk to are those who are willing to read and ask an intelligent question or make an informed comment, not those who glance at your title and say "What is this all about?"

Tim Mooney



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