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 decorative graphic showing possible layout of a posterAcademic posters are a great way for students to showcase their work, and when done effectively, they provide a concise and attractive summary of a project.  This guide aims to provide Instructors and students with the guidance and tools they'll need to prepare and produce a poster, whether for a research conference or a less formal setting.


Academic Poster Assignment Guide 

Assessment Tools

Research Poster Rubric from U. Of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 12 criteria in 6 categories rated as notive, emerging, proficient or expert. Includes detailed descriptions for each score in a category.

Poster Presentation Scoring Rubric - Florida Atlantic University.  22 criteria in 6 categories  scored on a scale of 0 (no attempt) to 3 (exemplary). No detailed descriptions for each score.

Evaluation of Academic Posters:   Description of what constitutes outstanding and poor implementation for 5 different criteria.

Poster Examples

Scientific Posters:  Michael Alley, author of the Craft of Scientific Writing:

Examples with discussion of pros and cons and video critiques, North Carolina State


Student Planning Worksheet 


Poster Perfect - How to drive home your science with a visually pleasing  poster

Scientific Poster Layout and Design  from shows multiple layouts, include tips on fonts and color selection.

 Software & Websites for Creating Posters - easy

Canva allows you to select a poster layout, customize the images, fonts, colors and download the finished design as an image for printing.  Best used for posters with minimal text.    Get started with this Canva tutorial on YouTube.

Adobe Express - easy

Easily create and share impactful images, social graphics, or animated designs that stand out on any channel, any device with Adobe Express.

PowerPoint - moderate difficulty 

Best used for scientific or research posters.

Download Microsoft Office 365 on the campus software page.

Design Assets

IMAGES  - over 220 million free downloadable stock photos, with  attribution.

Pixabay - pictures, illustrations, and vector graphics, carrying a  Creative Commons “No Rights Required” license (CCO), which means attribution isn't  required.

Pikwizard - Another site with photos carrying  a CC0” license 

Freepik - Free vector art, illustrations, icons, and photos 


About Font Selection


Coolors - Generate color schemes or choose from their selection.

100 brilliant color combinations



Creating a Poster in PowerPoint

Creating a poster in Powerpoint for Windows and Mac

Research Posters - Need more help with Powerpoint? This 38 minute video gives detailed instructions on using many  Powerpoint features to create your poster.

Powerpoint Poster Templates

Craft of scientific posters

PPT Poster templates from

Powerpoint Poster Templates from Rice U. 

Printing Your Poster

You can have your poster printed on the large format plotter located at the student help desk in Kellogg Library on the second floor near the entrance. It prints on paper 42 inches wide, the length is limited by the length of the paper roll.

Canva will also  print posters created on their site and send it to you.


Creative Commons License
This work, created by Susan Wilson builds on the efforts of Jennie Goforth and Suchi Mohanty at U. of N.C., and is   licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.