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Legacy Preparation

Key Elements & Design

Posters generally include the following elements:

  • Title
  • Author (and class name)
  • Research Question or Thesis 
  • Method or Focus
  • Results or Argument
  • Conclusions
  • Sources

Your professor's instructions always take priority, however. 

  • Posters usually have a title section and 2-5 columns, divided into sections.
  • Use blank space (Your reader needs some “breathing room” while looking at your poster).
  • Generally, organize posters so they can be read from top to bottom (with columns) and left to right.
  • Line things up.
  • Keep your word count low (< 600 total words).
  • Use sentence lists or bullets, not paragraphs.
  • Stay away from ALL CAPS, use sentence case, it’s easier to read.
  • Keep line spacing at 1.0 (this avoids line intrusion even if there are superscripts or subscripts).
  • Make the most important information stand out. 
  • Make sure that your poster is readable from 6 feet away and that your reader can go from beginning to end in 5 minutes or less.


  • Label all your figures, photos, and graphs.
  • Make sure your images are high enough resolution - zoom to 100% to check
  • Make sure images stand on their own and don’t require one to dig into the text to find out why they are on your poster.
  • Wikimedia Commons has millions of freely usable images. 

Tips for Making a Research Poster

Creative Commons License

Unless otherwise noted, the content of these guides by Loras College Library, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Some icons by Yusuke Kamiyamane. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.