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Develop Content

Posters typically include many of the sections listed below. Starred items are required. Which sections do you need to include?


Select a title that effectively and succinctly communicates the topic and significance of your project while retaining a professional tone. Avoid jargon; use terms all audience members can understand.

Collaborators & Institutional Affiliations*

The order that you list the authors on the project matters a great deal—check with your faculty supervisor for information on listing authors if you are working as part of a research team. If this is your independent research project, you are the sole author.


An abstract is the succinct summary of your research project. It is customary in some disciplines to include your abstract on your poster. Ask your faculty advisor whether this is the case for your discipline, and learn about writing an effective abstract at the Undergraduate Writing Center.

Background & Literature Review

Make the case for your research question(s) and explain how your research contributes to the existing literature on the topic.

Research Question(s)*

Provide a clear statement about the problem(s) you are trying to solve or the issue(s) you have investigated.

Materials & Methods*

This should be a brief description. Use visual aids to summarize information.

  • What did you do to address your research question(s)?
  • What measures did you use?
  • What sample did you use?
  • Were there any manipulations, comparisons, correlations, or significant differences of interest?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of your methodology?


What were the outcomes of the research? You can express results quantitatively or qualitatively. If your research is in progress, report your preliminary results.

Discussion & Conclusion*

What are the broader implications of your research and/or findings?

Future Directions

Did your research leave unanswered questions that could be explored in the future?


Thank your funding source(s) and acknowledge help from others, not on the list of authors (for an independent project, this normally includes your faculty mentor).

Contact Information*

People looking at your poster should be able to contact you, even if you are not standing next to your poster. Provide your professional e-mail address next to your name at the top of the poster. If applicable, you can also provide a link to a Web site that has information about your research in a section titled “For Further Information.”

Visual Aids

We highly recommend using figures and images to communicate information. Not only will visual aids make your poster more interesting to look at, but they allow you to effectively tell your story without the use of lengthy text. Find a thorough discussion of Visual Aids at the Undergraduate Writing Center web site.

Adapted from College of Natural Sciences Poster Presentation Workshop