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Writing the Poster Text: Every Word Counts APS Professional Skills Course: Making Scientific Presentations: Critical First Skills Why a Poster vs. Talk Reach more people both in and out of your field More in-depth discussion of your work

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Writing the Poster Text: Every Word Counts

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writing the poster text every word counts

Writing the Poster Text:Every Word Counts

APS Professional Skills Course:

Making Scientific Presentations: Critical First Skills

why a poster vs talk
Why a Poster vs. Talk
  • Reach more people both in and out of your field
  • More in-depth discussion of your work
  • More efficient because people can read about your work during the time the poster is available, whether you are there or not
  • Less stressful
difference between oral and poster presentations
Difference Between Oral and Poster Presentations

Speaking to a few people at a time

Speaking before a large crowd of people

writing the poster
Writing the Poster
  • Decide on one essential concept you would like to get across
  • Know your audience
  • Should be easy to follow what you did and why you did it, even if you are not present
  • Succinct in wording
  • Figures easily understandable
  • Conclusions follow from data presented
  • Start early
  • Set deadlines
  • Plan for set backs
  • Allow additional time for
    • Editing
    • Proofreading
    • Printing problems
organizing the content
Title (from Abstract)

Background and Introduction





Contact Information

Check meeting guidelines - may or may not include


Literature Cited


Organizing the Content
poster title
Poster Title
  • Already written
  • Use same title as submitted in Abstract

Kidney-Specific Enhancement of Angiotensin II Stimulates Endogenous Intrarenal Angiotensinogen and Initiates Renal Injury in Gene-Targeted Mice

background and introduction
Background and Introduction
  • Hypothesis
    • Relevant question you are trying to answer
    • State as hypothesis
  • Minimum of background information and definitions to provide context
  • Description and justification of general experimental approach
background and introduction10
Background and Introduction
  • Use inverted triangle model
  • Include photos if appropriate
  • Make it easy to read quickly
    • Short blocks of text
    • Use bullet points if possible
  • 200 words maximum

Big Picture

Current State of Knowledge


introduction example
Introduction Example
  • We recently reported that concomitant increases in proximal tubular angiotensinogen (AGT) mRNA and protein participate in increased intrarenal angiotensin (Ang) II leading to progressive development of hypertension and renal injury in Ang II-infused rats.
introduction example cont d
Introduction Example Cont’d
  • However, it has not been established if selective increases in intrarenal Ang II can be responsible for the stimulation of intrarenal AGT, development of progressive hypertension, and/or renal injury.
introduction example cont d13
Introduction Example Cont’d


Using a transgenic mouse model in which human AGT is expressed only in the kidney, these experiments were performed to determine if selective renal overproduction of Ang II elicited by stimulating human AGT present only in the kidney in the presence of human renin will cause increases in endogenous mouse AGT mRNA and protein expression in kidneys leading to slowly progressive hypertension and renal injury.

  • Experimental design
    • Flow charts work well
  • Model system (if applicable)
    • If using animals/humans, include IACUC/IRB approvals
  • Name methods rather than give details
    • e.g., Northern blot
  • Statistical methods used
  • 200 words maximum
methods example
Methods Example
  • We used 3 groups of mice:

1. Single transgenic mice (A, N=14) expressing human AGT only in the kidney regulated by kidney-specific androgen regulated protein promoter

2. Double transgenic mice (D, N=13) expressing human renin systemically in addition to human AGT only in the kidney

3. Wild type (W, N=12) of genetic background C57BL/6J mice

methods example cont d
Methods Example cont’d
  • Exogenous human AGT protein is inactive in single transgenic mice because endogenous mouse renin cannot cleave human AGT to Ang I due to a high species-specificity.
  • All mice were monitored from 12 to 18 wks of age with free access to a regular diet and water.
methods example cont d17
Methods Example Cont’d


1. Systolic blood pressure: Tail cuff method

2. Human and mouse AGT mRNA in kidney and liver: Real time RT-PCR

3. Human and mouse AGT protein in kidney: Western blot analysis

4. Plasma and kidney Ang II: SPE/RIA

5. Renal injury:

a) Interstitial collagen-positive area: PicroSirius Red stain

b) Interstitial macrophage infiltration: CD68-positive cell number

c) Thickness of afferent arteriolar wall: IHC of αSMA plus elastin stain

  • Focal point of poster
  • Enough information needed to support interpretation of the results
  • A story should unfold as you move from figure to figure
  • Group together data that are related
  • Use data that are directly related to the hypothesis
  • May not necessarily describe all results from study
  • Say whether or not the experiment worked
  • Follow with qualitative and descriptive results
  • Follow with presentation of data analysis
  • Figures and tables (figures are best)
  • Each figure should be able to stand alone
    • Clear title
    • Axes well labeled
  • 200 words maximum
summary of results
Summary (of Results)
  • Not just a repeat of the Abstract
  • Bullet point list of key findings
    • May be first thing people read
    • Need to grab attention of the reader
  • State whether hypothesis was supported
  • Relevance of findings
  • 250 words maximum
  • Emphasize single most important point
  • Make sure conclusion addresses the hypothesis
  • If you have more than one question, need to have more than one answer
  • Very brief: 50 words maximum
summary conclusion example
Summary/Conclusion Example
  • These data indicate that the selective renal overproduction of Ang II stimulates endogenous intrarenal mouse AGT mRNA and protein expression which may contribute to the slowly progressive hypertension and renal injury in the gene targeted mice even before the development of marked hypertension.
  • Locally generated Ang II may play important roles in the development of renal injury.
literature cited
Literature Cited

Follow meeting guidelines on inclusion

  • Primary literature
  • Journal articles
  • Standard format
  • 10 references maximum
literature cited example
Literature Cited Example

1. Kobori H, et al. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2001; 12: 431-439.

2. Kobori H, et al. Hypertension. 2001; 37: 1329-1335.

3. Kobori H, et al. Kidney Int. 2002; 61: 579-585.

4. Kobori H, et al. Hypertension. 2003; 41: 42-49.

5. Kobori H, et al. Hypertension. 2004; 43: 1126-1132.


Follow meeting guidelines on inclusion

  • Funding sources
    • Grants (NIH, NSF, etc.)
    • Awards (departmental, society, if supported research)
  • Specific contributions to project
    • Laboratory assistance, equipment, statistics
  • Disclosure of conflicts of interest
  • 40 words maximum
acknowledgement example

Supported by NIDDK/NIH Grant XXXXX (LGN) and the National Kidney Foundation Grant YYYY(LGN).

Technical assistance by:

  • Ms. My-Linh Rauv
  • Mr. Duy V. Tran
  • Mr. Dale M. Seth
  • Mr. Mark A. Cabrera
further information
Further Information
  • Your contact information
    • Include your email address
  • Lab’s web page (if applicable)
  • 20 words maximum
tips for writing a good poster
Tips for Writing a Good Poster
  • Edit your text several times
    • Aim for 800 words maximum
  • Can you answer “Yes” to these questions?
    • Is only one main concept included?
    • Can your logic be followed without you explaining it?
    • Are the graphics self-explanatory?
    • Is there an explicit take-home message?
    • Did you and someone else proofread your text?
ready to move on
Ready to Move On
  • If you answered “Yes” to all those question


  • Your collaborators (co-authors) agree

You can move on to

designing the poster!

  • Advice on Designing Scientific PostersColin Purrington, Swarthmore Collegehttp://www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/posteradvice.htm
  • BIO 801: Poster PresentationsGary Ritchison, Eastern Kentucky University http://www.people.eku.edu/ritchisong/posterpres.html
  • Creating Effective Poster Presentations: Create Your Poster George Hess :: Kathryn Tosney :: Leon Liegel http://www.ncsu.edu/project/posters/NewSite/CreatePosterOverview.html
  • Effective Use of Tables and Figures in Abstracts, Presentations, and PapersCharles G. Durbin, Jr.http://www.rcjournal.com/contents/10.04/10.04.1233.pdf
  • Poster-making 101Brian Pfohl, Bates Collegehttp://abacus.bates.edu/%7Ebpfohl/posters/
  • The Poster Production ShowWomen in Science Project at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Collegehttp://www.dartmouth.edu/~wisp/PosterShow/poster_pg3.html
  • Scientist's Guide to Poster PresentationsPeter J. Gosling, 1999, New York: Springer