Poster Presentations


A poster presentation is a visual communications tool that gets the presenter's main point across to as many people as possible and helps the presenter engage in conversation with colleagues or fellow-students about the work. Although more prevalent in the sciences, poster presentations are increasingly being used in other disciplines to present information to a broad audience. The links below contain guidelines for designing, presenting, and assessing posters. Several of them would be suitable to give to students as a guide to creating poster presentations for courses. The last few sites focus on assessment issues and provide rubrics for assessing posters.


General Resources

Creating Posters for Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Houston, Downtown).
What, why, and how of poster presentations. Includes illustrations, diagrams, and examples.

Designing Conference Posters by Colin Purrington.
Includes detailed tips, ideas, examples and very good advice about
presenting your poster.
Designing Effective Posters, Jeff Radel (University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Occupational Therapy Education).
An on-line tutorial for developing a poster presentation; useful for undergraduates, graduates, and faculty members.

Poster Presentations, Gary Ritchison (Eastern Kentucky University, Department of Biological Sciences).
Explicit and well-illustrated poster presentation guidelines for students. The site includes numerous examples of posters in the sciences and several links to sites with information on creating posters using PowerPoint and Framemaker.

"How to create a poster that graphically communicates your message," Kathryn Tosney (University of Miami, Department of Biology).
Useful guidelines for students with emphasis on both positive and negatives examples of posters. Contains many illustrations.

"Creating Effective Poster Presentations," George R. Hess (North Carolina State University), Kathryn W. Tosney, University of Miami, and Leon H. Liegel (Oregon State University).
Comprehensive guidelines for designing and presenting a poster at all undergraduate and graduate levels. Includes assessment materials under “Resources”: a 60-second evaluation of appearance and organization; evaluation criteria focusing on appearance, flow, and content; and a score sheet with 131 criteria. A visually appealing site full of graphics that illustrate the guidelines the authors present.

Ceating a Poster in PowerPoint 2010 (Eastern Michigan University Division of Information Technology).
Another useful set of step-by-step directions for creating a PowerPoint presentation.

Poster-Making 101 by Brian Pfohl (Bates College).
Includes step-by-step instructions and screenshots using PowerPoint
2003 for Windows, so a bit old but still useful.

Templates at
Free PowerPoint templates to get you started. A favorite for
envisioning possibilities.

Successful Poster Sessions: Some Guidelines (International Studies Association)
Concise guidelines for designing a poster presentation.

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Assessing Poster Presentations

"Using Posters in Case Studies: The Scientific Poster as a Teaching Tool," Charles R. Fourtner, Mary Bisson, and Christopher A. Loretz (State University of New York at Buffalo, Department of Biological Sciences).
This article explains the use of poster presentations in a General Physiology course for biology majors. Contains a description of the final assessment, which includes peer evaluation, an oral defense of the poster, and faculty evaluation.

Poster Evaluation Rubric (Adapted from "60-Second Evaluation" by Hess, G.R.)
Ten categories for evaluating a poster with a rule for each to guide the presenter.

For additional assessment materials, also see the Resources section in the entry above "Creating Effective Poster Presentations," by George R. Hess, Kathryn W. Tosney, and Leon H. Liegel.

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