Making a Poster

What is an academic research poster?

Much like an abstract, an academic poster is a summary of your research project, with the very important difference that the poster should be visually engaging as well as academically sound. Descriptive text must be brief—this  is the opportunity to highlight your methods and results as well as give the context of your research. 

How do I prepare an academic research poster presentation?

Your poster should include all of the pertinent information from your abstract but with more detail and with eye-catching examples, including charts, tables, figures, footnotes, references and other supporting information.


We recommend working in PowerPoint (.ppt) to create a file scaled to the specific size required by the large-format printer (34 x 44 inches for OUR printing). Once the PowerPoint file is complete, it can be saved as a high resolution Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. Conversion to a high-resolution .pdf file is required for the OUR to print files formatted on Macintosh operating systems.

How to make a poster via PowerPoint 

File Preparation

  • Change the size of your slide to poster dimensions by selecting Page Setup from the File menu. Choose dimensions according to the specific large format printer to which you will be printing. If you plan to use the OUR for printing services, please note that OUR posters must be sized 34 inches X 44 inches (landscape or portrait orientation are both acceptable). If you are NOT printing in the OUR, make sure to check the dimensions required for the location where you are printing.
  • Use high resolution photos and graphics whenever possible. A photo or graphic that looks clear on a standard (8.5 inches by 11 inches) page may look grainy or pixilated when enlarged for a poster. To correct this problem and avoid associated costs for multiple prints, examine your file carefully using Print Preview options AFTER increasing the dimensions of your page to poster size. If the quality is poor in Print Preview, replace those components of your poster with higher resolution elements.
  • Before printing, double and triple check your file for errors such as spelling mistakes or overlapping images.

Poster Presentation

Finally, along with your poster, you should prepare a two-minute presentation of your poster that you will be able to deliver to anyone viewing your poster at the symposium. Even though you will be standing with your poster to discuss your research with viewers, the poster should be able to stand on its own with a clear, logical presentation of your research.

Printing Services

OUR Printing Services

The OUR offers complimentary poster printing for Undergraduate Research Symposium participants and for recipients of the OUR's Conference Travel Award. To have a poster printed, symposium participants must upload their final submission, including a poster file, by the appropriate deadline. OUR awardees can coordinate poster printing by emailing the OUR at

Other On-Campus Printing Options

Please find below a list of additional printing sources both on and off campus. It is not an exclusive list, so if you have other printing sources that could be added, please contact us. (If you are NOT printing in the OUR, please check the dimensions required for the location you are printing.)

Data Services at Olin Library
Detailed information including pricing and how to make an appointment is available on the Olin Library Website.

Contacts: David Archer ( or Dale Wineinger (

Contact: (Klaus) Mike Malolepszy: 314-935-4262

Engineering IT
Help Center, Lopata Hall Room 408

McMillen Chem Labs, Room 427

Mallinckrodt Center (in the Bookstore)

See below for off-campus printing services

Still have questions?

Contact Us