About posters

I increasingly use posters in my classes as a way of encouraging collaboration and the development of a research community.

Although posters have long been used in the Natural Sciences, some Social Sciences, and the Digital Humanities, they are only beginning to appear in more traditional humanities disciplines.

This post provides some resources for discovering how to design posters and explains my general policies.

How to make posters

Although students make posters throughout Grade School, Middle School, and High School, research posters of the kind used at University are slightly different in format and design.

There are lots of tutorials on the web describing how to make posters and providing examples and templates (a typical successful search might poster design for students of the humanities). An example from UCLA can be found here.

Here are some very broad tips:

  • Many people use Powerpoint or Open Office Impress to make their posters, in which case they treat them, in essence, as a slideshow with a single slide. The easiest method may be to set the dimensions of the slide to those specified by the instructions. If in doubt, a standard size is 3×4 feet.
  • Generally posters should be landscape in orientation (i.e. they should be wider than they are tall). Exceptions are sometimes allowed.
  • Don’t forget to put the author(s) names and the date on your poster.
  • When you are finished, consider publishing it to a site like slideshare.com so others can access (and cite) it. You might be surprised how many people view your work this way.

How will my poster be assessed?

Generally, I treat posters as formative exercises. This means that they are usually graded either “Pass/Fail”: or Appropriate/Inappropriate/Fail You should check your syllabus to be sure how I am doing it in your class.

To receive a grade of Pass/Appropriate, the following should be true:

  • Your poster should be well designed (easy to read from different distances; efficient in their explanation of the main argument or findings)
  • Your argument/findings should be appropriate
  • You should be able to answer questions about your poster and argument/findings
  • If you are asked to give a presentation (or slam), your presentation introduces the content of your poster sufficiently to let people know what it is about.



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