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Research Posters: Plan

Tips, tools, and inspiration to start creating an academic research poster.

Planning the Content

In this stage, ask yourself:

What do I want to communicate to my audience?

A poster which included all the content from a research paper would be cluttered and confusing. If your audience were to remember one thing about your research, what would you want it to be?

According to the UNLV Writing Center, a strong poster will:

  • Prioritize information
  • Present the most important points
  • Consist of 500-800 words
  • Balance visuals with narrative
  • Show real-world applications

The UNLV Writing Center has provided a handout with tips on the most important content which should be included in your research poster, how to present your poster, and general information on poster design. They have also made available presentation slides for their "Poster Presentations" workshop. These two documents may be downloaded from the links below.

Finding Images and Graphics

In this stage, ask yourself: 

Where can I find images and graphics that I may use in my research poster?

Once you have edited the text that you will be using down to a manageable level, it is time to start thinking about the visual design of your poster.

Searching for images and graphics licensed under Creative Commons is one way to find media which can be used in a research poster. Creative Commons images have licensed for reuse by the original creator. You can get help with finding relevant media by reviewing this Creative Commons guide.

If you plan to use the UNLV logo on your research poster, be sure to download the appropriate image from the link below. These are high quality images of the official UNLV logo.

QR Codes

Since a poster is a short summary of your research, there may be more information that you would like to share with your audience. Some examples include research data, a feedback form, or your professional profile. One way to share this information is to add a quick response or QR code to your poster.

A QR code is a code which can be scanned by the camera app on a smartphone. Some smartphone cameras will automatically scan this code, while for others a QR code reader app may need to be installed. Once the code has been scanned, a web browser will automatically open the link contained in the code.

You can search "QR code generator" online to find many options for creating your own QR code. The QR Code Generator and UnitagQR are two of the many free QR code generators which you can try. Once you generate the code, you will need to save it as an image before adding it to your poster.

UNLV Writing Center

Contact the UNLV Writing Center to request help for: 

  • Academic Poster Content
  • Tips on Engaging your Audience
  • Presentation Skills

Location: CDC Building 3


Phone: (702) 895-3908


Sample QR Code

Try it yourself!

Scan the sample QR code below with your smartphone's camera. It will open a web browser on your smartphone and take you to the first page of this guide to Research Posters.

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