Skip to Main Content

Academic Poster Resources

How to Create a Research Poster

A guide for creating a research poster.

Adapted from guide created by Dana Haugh, Web Services Librarian & Coordinator for Marketing and Communication, Yale Library.

Getting Started

An academic poster is an opportunity to visually tell the story of your research.

When deciding how to design your poster, you will want to think carefully about the most effective way to visually present your research to your expected audience.

  • What is the most important or interesting finding from your research? What is the “take-home message” of your work?
  • How will you draw people in? What visuals can you use to tell your story?
  • What information can you add during your talk that will complement your poster?

Many academic conferences include poster sessions as a part of conference programming, but they may also be displayed in stand-alone events such as poster fairs. In a typical poster session, presenters stand near their posters prepared to speak with interested attendees about their work.

Many times when submitting for a poster presentation, you need only submit an abstract. 

Basic Components

  • Introduction or Background (25-50 words)
  • Methods (25-50 words)
  • Results (100-200 words)
  • Conclusions (100-200 words)
  • Recommendations/Future Directions (50-100 words)
  • References/Acknowledgements (25-50 words or use a QR code)


  • Avoid using discipline-specific jargon.
  • Use color and design elements strategically. The poster should shine instead of distract.
  • In-person poster sessions can be chaotic with many people walking around. The poster should be easy to read from a distance. You want to ensure that anyone who is interested in your research can read it from a few feet away. 
  • Use the same font throughout the poster.
  • The poster should be accessible to as many people as possible.

Additional Resources