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A Guide to Writing
in the Biological Sciences
The Poster Session
Poster sessions are often used at scientific meetings to display research results. They are effective means of conveying information, because the poster's visual aspects and the presenter's verbal explanations work together to get the material across quickly.
To put together an impressive and useful poster, you must fully understand your topic and be able to explain it in a clear and organized manner. When you gather your materials and ideas, remember to focus on the main points.
Follow the formatting guidelines closely; although requirements may differ by class or conference, posters usually include the following components: title, abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, acknowledgments, and literature cited. The use of figures and tables, to present data visually instead of including large quantities of text, is encouraged.
It is important to prepare for questions that people viewing your poster will ask you. You should not try to include all your information on the poster, because you can always elaborate on what is in the poster when answering questions.
Dr. Laura Adamkewicz of the Biology Department uses poster presentations in her genetics classes. She has students evaluate posters based on five criteria: visual attractiveness, quality of information, relevance, originality, and the balance of text, graphics, and illustrations.
Links to online tutorials
The Writing Center's Poster Presentation for the Natural Sciences (PowerPoint slide show)
The Writing Center's Developing a Poster Presentation (PowerPoint slide show)
Kansas University Medical Center's online tutorial for Effective Presentations
|An introduction to writing in Biology|
|Practical tips for scientific writing|
|Professors' perspectives on student writing|
|Specific Information for Writing Assignments|
|Short answers for tests|
|Summary of a scientific article|
|The poster session|
|Writing a scientific paper|
References and Credits
|General Ecology||The Writing Center|