Tell a story: A good poster should tell a story. Arrange your layout (and your writing) as a narrative. Tell the reader the story of your research. Engage them.
Sections: You can use traditional sections (methods, results, etc.) or non-traditional ones. It’s your poster - figure out what organization will convey your message best.
Wordy vs. succinct: Keep the writing short and simple. Bulleted lists are good. You cannot include every detail. Concentrate on the big picture. Work to avoid jargon or overly complicated terms.
Graphs and illustrations: Illustrations can make results easier to understand and add visual interest to the poster.
Title: The title should be a banner across the top, large enough to be visible very far away.
Author and affiliations: These should go under the title, in smaller font.
Font sizes: Headings should be 36-45 point. Most text should be readable from several feet away.
Fonts: Experiment with different fonts to see what you think is clear and readable.
Color: Use color to bring things out and add visual interest, but don't randomly color words throughout the poster.
Templates: There are lots of websites where you can download poster templates. This will probably give you better results than trying to do it yourself.
Arranging the space: Group things into columns or boxes.
White space: Lots of white space looks better than crowding, even if you have to cut content.
Serving multiple audiences: You can have sidebar boxes with titles like “assay details” or “likelihood derivation” or “item coding methodology” for the geeky in-field readers.
If you use individual sheets ...
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Abstract: This is not necessarily useful on a poster.
Introduction: You might call this section “rationale” on a poster. Why did you do this work? What important question was not answered in the previous literature?
Materials and Methods: Who were the study subjects? How were they collected? What experimental or observational methods were used? What statistical methods were used?
Results: Describe the raw results of the experiments/analyses described above. Include a little reminder of the methods and a short interpretation of the results.
Discussion: This is where you interpret the results. Then, discuss whether you answered the question you started with, what open questions remain, what limitations your work has, and finally, why your work is important.
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In many fields, the standard format is just inappropriate. Section examples from statistical methods papers include ...
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Watch a short YouTude video from HSLS on How to Create a Quality Scientific Poster.