Poster Guidelines

Presenters are required to submit their posters as a PDF or a  Word document. Please submit brief abstract (150-200 words) before February 28th via the symposium registration link. Any figures included in the poster must also be submitted as individual files with sufficient resolution. Submissions should be emailed to us at and on or before March 9th. In addition to the attachment, the body of the email must include:

  1. Presenter name
  2. Title of poster
  3. Advisor name
  4. Abstract

What should your poster include?

The following information is extracted from the “Demystifying the Journal Article” (


The purpose of this section is threefold. First, you want to trace previous work on the subject and set up the problem. Second, you need to identify how your paper addresses that problem. That is key: explaining what you do to address the gaps of literature or problem of the paper. Finally, you should note the broader contributions and implications of the piece. I like to think that the contributions of a paper can be theoretical, empirical, and/or policy-relevant, although often the papers published in top journals have all three.

Data and Methods

This section answers the question “How do you know what you know?” That can be further broken down into three parts:

  • On what kind of information or material are you basing your findings (e.g., interviews, statistics, documents)?
  • How did you find that information, or where did it come from (e.g., U.S. Census, National Archives, fieldwork)?
  • How did you analyze that information? That is, what software or analytic strategies did you use to come up with your findings?


This section contains the meat of the paper, where you present the findings from your work, and you should keep two points in mind. First, make sure that your results speak to the theoretical and empirical questions that your paper raises in the front half — in other words, that your paper is cohesive throughout. Second, and particularly for qualitative papers, organize your results analytically or thematically — not, for example, in chronological order or according to some other simple accounting. You should be thoughtful about how to present your results to get the most out of your findings. (For some reason, academics like the number three, so you will often see three main results in a given paper.)

Discussion or Conclusion

You may also find a combined discussion and conclusion at the end of the paper. What are the differences between a discussion and a conclusion? That can vary by author or paper, and it depends on how you’ve written up your results section. One way you can think about it is that the discussion section allows you to step back from the results section and reflect on the broader story or themes of your results and how they tie together. If you see a discussion section this way, then you can think about a conclusion addressing three things:

  1. Summarizing what you did in the paper, including its main findings
  2. Acknowledging the limitations of your work
  3. Proposing steps for future research that builds on what you’ve done in the paper