By Cally Guerin
Recently I sat down to make a poster about the DoctoralWritingSIG blog for a higher education conference. I’ve made only a few research posters over the years; this genre is more common in some science disciplines than it is in humanities and social sciences. The exercise encouraged me to think about how this kind of research writing differs from that of a journal article or a thesis or, for that matter, a 20-minute oral presentation for a conference.
Poster prose is a little like reducing an 80,000-word thesis to a Three-Minute Thesis presentation: turning an article-length idea into a poster requires the author to focus in on the key messages of the communication. Posters encourage writers to extract the skeleton of the narrative they have developed in more fulsome terms elsewhere, to distill the key ideas of the work into neat dot points or short statements. This is not a time to be chatty; a poster gives us only the central message. Continue reading