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Creating a STEM research poster: Home

creating a stem research poster

What is a research poster?

Research posters are an effective way of visually sharing your research. A poster usually includes brief text with tables, graphs, pictures, and other necessary information. 

The following sections are usually included on a poster:

  • Title
  • Authors and their affiliations
  • Introduction/background
  • Materials and methods
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Acknowledgements

What does a good poster include?

  • Short, catchy title
  • Bullets, numbering, and headings that make it easy to read
  • Consistent and clean layout
  • Important information can be read from 10 feet away
  • Include citations for any sources used
  • Avoid jargons and acronyms
  • Includes acknowledgments, your name, and institutional affiliation

Sample Posters

example of good poster
poster example
student with poster
student with poster

Poster Design


  • Arrange content in the order that people naturally read. In English, we read left to right, top to bottom
  • Arrange content in 2-4 columns
  • Leave white space around the entire poster and between content, keeping spaces even

poster symmetry

Image Credit: Compiled from Hess, G.R., K. Tosney, and L. Liegel. 2014. Creating Effective Poster Presentations.


  • Stick to 2-3 colors
  • Use dark text on a light background
  • Do not use excessively bright colors
  • Be aware of color schemes that may cause issues for those with problems differentiating colors (e.g. red and green next to each other)


  • Use sans serif (e.g. Arial) fonts for titles and headings
  • Use serif (e.g. Times New Roman) fonts for text
  • Font size depends on the size of your poster. Some guidelines: 
    • Title: 80-120 point
    • Names/Affiliations: 60-90 point
    • Headings: 44-80 point
    • Text: 32-52 point


  • Graphics should be large enough to be read from a few feet away
  • Do not use clipart or generic graphics
  • Give all graphics (charts, tables, graphs, photographs) a title

Consult with a librarian

To begin your research, consult with a Polk State College librarian. The librarians can help you research effectively, discover more about your topic, and find credible information efficiently. 

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