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Creating an Academic Poster: Tips and Tricks

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Audience

When creating an academic poster, know who your audience will be and keep them in mind. Will they be other academics, the general public, or a mixture? Can you assume a common understanding of terminology or theory, or will you have to put your ideas in accessible layperson’s terms?

Know your audience image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Tips on writing for the layperson

  • Try to explain your research as concisely as possible: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?
  • Write in an active voice and provide context; give concrete everyday examples; paint a picture for the reader.
  • Order your text logically so it flows naturally. Introduce ideas as required and don't present new ideas late in the text.
  • Use short, clear sentences (25 words or less) and avoid complex grammatical structures.
  • Minimize the use of jargon, scientific or technical terms, and acronyms: if unavoidable, provide explanations.
  • If your audience is the general public, ask a friend unfamiliar with your field to read over your text.
  • Get feedback on your draft from colleagues, supervisors and at least one non-expert to your field.

Edit out unnecessary words. Below are some examples of words and phrases that can be simplified in order to increase understanding for a non-expert reader:

  • participate in --> take part
  • prior to --> before
  • discontinue --> stop
  • in the event of --> if
  • duration --> time
  • inform --> tell
  • scheduled to undergo --> due to have
  • accordingly, consequently --> so
  • with reference to, with regard to --> about
  • if this is the case --> if so
  • for the purpose of --> to