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Tips on Making Posters

by Barnhill, David L. last modified Apr 07, 2011 12:14 PM

Here are some tips suggested by Bill Mode, Chair of Geology, who has served as a judge for the Celebration of Scholarship Poster Sessions.

  1. The poster should show that you’ve done a lot of digging.
  2. The poster should show that you’ve created new knowledge (which could be new policy analysis or philosophical argument0


  • The focus should not be broad, general topics.
  • The focus instead should be on specific issue or case study or hypothesis.


  • Be clear what your major assertions are.
  • Make sure those assertions are supported with and illustrated by evidence.  Point to something specific: a piece of legislation, a chart of historical trends, other forms of data.
  • Visuals are important: graphs, charts, timelines. Be sure they actually support and illustrate your points, rather than being simply a visual diversion.
  • Be sure the evidence strongly and directly supports any  assertion.

Visually interesting.

  • The poster should not just be an outline
  • But it also should not be fancy or intricate but instead be appealing and clear.


  • Starting off
    • Scientists start with hypothesis
    • But in social science or humanities you can start with issues
  • Definitions of terms can be useful, though don’t spend much time on that.
  • It can be appropriate and effective to end with potential limitations and problems of your position.



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by Barnhill, David L. last modified Apr 07, 2011 12:14 PM