A research poster should demonstrate your key findings clearly and concisely, allowing you to kickstart conversations around your work in class and at conferences and exhibitions. But how do you create a research poster? Here are some tips from our proofreaders.\r\n1. Planning a Research Poster\r\nWhen you start planning your research poster, check the guidelines for the event where you will be presenting it and make a note of the following:\r\n\r\n\tThe submission dates.\r\n\tThe size requirements for your poster.\r\n\tAny institutional logos or affiliations you need to include.\r\n\tWhether you need to include funding information.\r\n\r\nNext, think about your audience:\r\n\r\n\tWho will be looking at your poster?\r\n\tHow knowledgeable are they likely to be about your topic?\r\n\tWhere will they see your poster, in a classroom or at a conference?\r\n\r\nYou can then use these notes to guide your poster design.\r\n2. What Software Should I Use?\r\nYou have several options for software you can use to create a research poster. One is Microsoft PowerPoint, which you may already have installed on your computer. This program is easy to use and there are free poster templates available for download.\r\nHowever, PowerPoint is limited as a design program. As such, you may want to explore other options such as Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Illustrator, or InDesign. These may take a little while to learn if you haven't used them before, but they may let you achieve much more professional results.\r\n3. What Your Poster Should Include\r\nBefore you start writing, think about what you want to say. You will need to ensure your audience can identify the subject and key results of your research at a glance. To this end, your poster should include:\r\n\r\n\tA\u00a0title that immediately tells your audience what your research is about.\r\n\tA clear\u00a0introduction that sets out the purpose of your study.\r\n\tThe methods and procedures you used to find the results.\r\n\tA brief discussion and conclusion that sums up your outcomes.\r\n\tA\u00a0reference list (if required).\r\n\tYour name(s) and contact information.\r\n\r\nMake a note of all the information you need to include, but remember that you have limited space to work with and stick to the most important details.\r\n4. Research Poster Layout and Design\r\nA good research poster should have a clean and consistent layout. Usually, this will consist of two to four columns (any more and your poster may become hard to read), including text and graphics.\r\n\r\nIn terms of where to put everything, think about how people read in English (i.e., left to right and top to bottom). Most research posters follow a similar format, with the introduction at the top of the leftmost column and the conclusion and references at the bottom of the rightmost column.\r\nBeyond this, other poster layout tips to consider include:\r\n\r\n\tStick to clear, easy-to-read fonts and don\u2019t use too many (one for your title and headings and another for your text should suffice).\r\n\tMake sure text is large enough to read at a distance.\r\n\tUse bold fonts for key terms and phrases to make them stand out.\r\n\tChoose a color scheme with two or three colors.\r\n\tStay away from excessively bright colors as they can be distracting.\r\n\tDo not use patterns, gradients, or photographs for the background of your poster, as they can make the text on top harder to read.\r\n\r\nThis will make your poster pleasing to look at and easy to read!\r\n5. Writing Style\r\nWhen you come to write up the text for your poster, remember to:\r\n\r\n\tBe concise (around 100\u2013200 words per section is usually enough).\r\n\tTailor the language to your audience throughout (e.g., if you were creating a poster for non-academics, you would avoid dense technical language).\r\n\tWrite in the\u00a0active voice where possible.\r\n\tUse headings to guide your reader through the poster.\r\n\tUse bullet points and numbered lists to make your poster easier to read.\r\n\r\nThis should ensure you can get your point over quickly and effectively.\r\n6. Images, Tables and Charts\r\nGraphics, such as images, tables and charts, are an excellent way to share your research. Minimally, you should include tables and charts to present your results in an easy-to-digest way, but think about whether other illustrations or images could help, too.\r\nIf you do include any graphics, make sure to use high-resolution images (between 200 and 300 ppi) so they will look good when printed.\r\n7. The Final Check\r\nWhen you have created a first draft of your poster:\r\n\r\n\tPrint an A4-sized color test print to help you find any errors.\r\n\tAssess the layout, colors, fonts, and graphics in your poster.\r\n\tMake sure your poster follows the size guidelines set out by the event at which you\u2019ll be exhibiting.\r\n\tProofread all the text on your research poster carefully.\r\n\r\nThis final point is very important, as a research poster filled with errors or typos will undermine the expertise that you are trying to project.\r\nIf you spot any issues, make sure to correct them and create another test print. And once you're happy with your draft poster, that's it! You are ready to send your masterpiece off to the printers.