WHAT IS A POLITICAL SCIENCE POSTER?
Your senior (paper) projects will give a full accounting of all the complexities of your case, the policies possible for dealing with it, and a complete accounting of your own views. Your posters, on the other hand, are designed to give your peers and colleagues a quick overview of your topic and findings; a poster will therefore only present the highlights of your paper.
What are the basic elements of a Poster?
- Title/Author: should be simple and easy to see
- Abstract: identifies what is being studied, what you are trying to figure out, and your findings/conclusion.
- Body: What are the main questions your paper is addressing (i.e. what are the main challenges/problems facing democracy in your country? What are the main alternatives available for dealing with these challenges?
- Data/empirics: Here is where you could use graphs, charts or quantitative analysis. Visual representations of your argument or data are very useful in a poster.
- Conclusions: Be clear and concise: What did you find and how is this similar/different from previous analyses? What is the “bottom line” of your analysis? (i.e. What, in a nutshell, do you suggest the U.S. do vis-à-vis democratic consolidation in your country and how is this similar/different from what is currently being done?)
- Basic references
Standard size is usually no larger than 2 feet by 4 feet. Your poster should be hard-backed (e.g. on a piece of cardboard or posterboard).
A great poster is:
- Readable: the elements should flow and relate logically to each other. Text should be clear, concise, and free of spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- Legible: Don’t cram too much info or data into the space you have. Don’t use overly fancy fonts or fonts that are too small. Organize your information carefully.
- Attractive to the eye: this may mean making good use of graphics and/or pictures, but it may also just mean presenting your research and findings in a succinct, easily digestible and interesting manner. Color and spacing should be used wisely and consistently.
- Want to see an example of a great poster? Click here.
Local options for printing your poster:
Fed Ex: 600 West 116th Street
Price range: $7.25/sq. ft. and up
Village Copier: 118th and Amsterdam
Price range: $10-$200+
Staples: 125th Street and Lenox
Price range: $5.99/sq. ft. and up
Some sites to visit for examples of posters and suggestions on how to make them:
Political Science Department Poster Resources
American Political Science Association: http://www.apsanet.org/content_17364.cfm
How To Make A Great Poster:
Poster Presentation - Mount Holyoke College "The Effect of Gender of Victim and Gender of Perpetrator on Recall of a Crime"
"Recommendations for your Poster Presentation" - Smith College:
"Advice on Presenting - Creating Academic Posters" Bryn Mawr:
Tips on Presenting - Wellesley College
Poster Presentation Guidelines – Harvard University
Do's and Don'ts of Poster Presentation – Stanford University
Guide to Designing & Printing a Research Poster – Dartmouth University
Creating Effective Poster Presentations – University of California
Additional Poster Resources: