4PIRS002W Democracy in Crisis?
Final assignment What makes a good poster?
Here’s one I prepared earlier….
Why posters? • Posters are an effective way of communicating information
concisely, visually and attractively.
Academic posters summarise information or research to help publicise it and generate discussion
Posters are often used in conferences and workshops in all spheres of work
Questions • Does populism undermine democracy?
Can climate change be solved by democracies?
is democracy racist?
Can new forms of participation revitalise democracy?
Why have some democracies been more effective in responding to Covid-19?
Extent to which the poster indicates an understanding and
synthesis of the academic and non-academic evidence on the topic • Extent to which the poster introduces ideas in an interesting
and engaging manner • Clarity of information • Range and correct attribution of sources • Appropriate use of tables, graphs, figures and images etc.
Things to consider… • An academic poster is designed to communicate clearly, concisely,
and visually. • It should be self-explanatory. • It takes skill to summarise a complex topic without losing some
meaning or connections. • Think what is essential to know about the topic? • How might you use images or diagrams to help convey your message?
Things to consider… • Poster quality
Can you combine visual impact and clarity in the way you present your ideas to the passer-by?
Explanatory quality • Are you sharp, engaging and comfortable explaining the topic? • Is there evidence of wide reading around the topic area?
Substance • Do you have an appropriate title? • Why does your topic matter? • Do you provide evidence of an integrated review of relevant literature? • Do you provide clear conclusions? • Do you provide adequate referencing / citations?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of these posters?
Designing a great poster
First steps… • Decide what you need to communicate, and how. • What is your main message? • What does your viewer need to know? • Identify the key points, always keeping your topic or task in mind.
• Make a rough draft of the information you need. • Decide on the main title. • Identify the graphics you might need, such as photos,
diagrams, graphs or charts. • Remember: Academic posters need to show evidence of
reading and research, so you must always include references
An academic poster should be both professional and concise, so a
general rule is only to include graphics that really support your content. • Use diagrams, graphs or flowcharts to help explain complex information
visually. Every image should have a purpose. • Make sure there is not too much text. It must be readable from
distance. • Try not to use too many different or strongly contrasting colours. A
limited colour palette can be very effective. • Avoid using unnecessary and distracting background textures or
decoration. ‘Negative’ space and margins will give your content room to breathe • If your topic has a central statement, graphic or diagram, make this
prominent in your design. Don’t hide it in a corner!
A poster should be legible from about one metre and attract
interest from about five metres. • Aim for a word count of no more than 300 words – beware of
being too text heavy • For clarity, use a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica. • Make sure there is a good contrast between text and background. • Make sure main title, sub-headings and main text are legible at a
distance. • Format headings and subheadings consistently. This helps
structure your information visually.
Some technical points… • Use any computer software, but make sure you upload
assignment as PDF • As a student, you can download Microsoft PowerPoint • Choose Portrait or Landscape orientation • Tip: To set the document size in PowerPoint, choose Design >
Slide Size > Custom > [Enter 420 x 594 into the width and height boxes for A2 poster size • Remember: To print effectively, images should be high
resolution (150-300 dpi)
• Like other types of academic writing, an academic poster should be well organised, with clear headings and subheadings – and references!