Research Posters and Poster Sessions: Poster Sections

This guide has been developed to assist you with creating a research poster using MS Powerpoint.


This template is for a standard research poster, 4' long by 3' high.

This template is for a square poster, 3' by 3'.

Office of Undergraduate Research Poster Template

Poster Sections


First of all decide if an abstract is needed. If this poster is for a campus event or displaying at the Capitol, then an abstract is needed. An abstract can be optional when there is a printed program that includes the abstracts of poster presentations.

An abstract is a 250-500 word summary of the entire project. Include one liners from the Introduction, Material and Methods, Results and Discussion, and Conclusions.  It may be easier to write the abstract after the poster text has been written. An abstract is a paragraph with no bullet points.


The Introduction provides a brief background and places the work in the context of the literature. Write it to interest the viewer in your topic. Posters are graphical representations of your project so text should be limited. Turn your paragraphs into bulleted points and, if you are able, use a picture. Don’t forget to include your hypothesis.

  Materials and Methods

In this section you will briefly describe how you conducted the research project. Include only the important parts of the materials and methods. You can use references. Because posters are graphical representations of your work, think about using flowcharts and figures to describe your procedures.

 Your project may be about developing a procedure or gizmo. If this is the case, then this section will be the main focus of the poster and take up the largest area.


The results are the analyzed data from your research. You will present them here in graphical format – graphs, charts, pictures, diagrams, equations, etc. Each figure needs a caption describing the figure, a title, legends for x,y,z-n axes. If the figures tell the entire story then you can add a short discussion of the results. The Presenter will be providing additional detail (see About Poster Sessions for additional information).

 This is usually the largest section of your poster, but different disciplines may organize information in their own way. It may be that Results are separate from Discussion and Conclusion, or all three are combined. Some disciplines will have a separate Results and combine the Discussion and Conclusions. Talk with your faculty advisor about the appropriate division of headings for your project.


For the Conclusions section, list the major results and relate it to the literature. You can also discuss any new hypotheses and future work.


You will need to list any of the publications you referenced or cited in your poster. The purpose of listing the references is two-fold, to give credit where credit is due and to provide the reader with information on obtaining the publication. Follow the format used by your discipline, but to reduce the amount of poster space for references:

·         Do not include the title of the article, but remember to include the title of the journal.

·         List only the first author and then follow it with “et al.”.


Acknowledge both the people contributing to the project and if funded, the agencies funding the research.  Do not include any of your coauthors.



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