Composition Project #2

Project Overview

Academic posters are an often-used visually-engaging way to summarize research, scholarly work, or creative projects. Posters highlight the context of the work conducted (through images like maps, photos, etc.), your methods, and the results (through images like graphs, charts, schematics, photographs, etc.). Posters should be able to convey the entire intended narrative without the support of verbal explanation. They should demonstrate a clear, logical flow of information as it is organized and communicated on the poster paper. Good posters respond to their rhetorical situations: showing awareness of audience, context, readability/accessibility, organization, and content knowledge.


  • Demonstrate awareness of design principles: arrangement/layout, chunking/proximity, alignment, consistency, font, color, and contrast.
  • Develop focused research statement and cultivate knowledge on individually-chosen topic
  • Perform research of literature pertaining to chosen topic with scholarly resources


This project has three major components — (1) Pitch, (2) Annotated Bibliography, and (3) Poster.

Pitch (50 points)

  • An “elevator pitch” is a concise statement of your research interests and experience to be shared orally in various professional contexts. In the case of this video, it will be a persuasive pitch to convince the instructor that your poster idea is sound.
  • Your pitch will be video recorded, much in the same way as your Common First Week Video.
  • You will need to pay attention to background, eye contact with the camera, enthusiasm and tonality, camera angles, soundscape, appearance/dress, ease of speech delivery, and other compositional elements. These elements should appear purposeful and support the ethos (credibility) of your pitch.
  • The video will be one minute in length. No more, no less. A video short on time will lose points. A video long on time will lose points. Time is essential.
  • The pitch should answer the following questions:
    • What is the topic of your research?
    • What is the problem, issue, or question that you are
      asking and addressing in your research?
    • Why is that problem interesting and important? (i.e. So
    • How does your work connect with a broader
      disciplinary conversation about this topic/problem in
      your field, and what does it add to that conversation?
  • I would suggest making use of the CommLab rehearsal rooms to record or utilizing the Multimedia Studio.

Annotated Bibliography (20 points)

  1. You will assemble an annotated bibliography, demonstrating your research for this project.
  2. Your annotated bibliography should summarize three scholarly sources. These should be academic articles, books, reviews, thesis/dissertations, and/or conference proceedings.
  3. You can choose the citation style you will use (ex. Chicago, MLA, APA, IEEE, etc.).
  4. You will summarize the source’s content and then evaluate the source’s usefulness within the scope of your research project.
  5. Your summary and evaluation content should be at least 200 words in length. This summary should not include quotes from the text.
  6. The document should have page numbers in the top right hand corner. It should be written in Times New Roman, 12pt font. It should include header content: name, class, professor, and date.
  7. The annotated bibliography should be submitted as .doc, .docx, or .pdf.

The poster is due separately from the pitch and annotated bibliography. 

Poster (100 points)

  1. The poster will feature a research topic of your choosing however, this topic should have some connection to indigenous media or communities. The more localized you can make this, the better.
  2. The poster should be 24in. x 36in, in any orientation.
  3. The poster should show clear attention to design principles:  arrangement/layout, chunking/proximity, alignment, consistency, font, color, and contrast.
    1. Make your poster accessible: the font should be readable from 3-5 feet away.
    2. Make your poster stand out: try something new and innovative to engage your audience.
    3. Make it necessary: don’t put a bunch of fluff in your poster. Be purposeful.
  4. Your poster should incorporate both written and visual elements (such as images, graphs, charts, etc.).
  5. Your poster should have a clear, engaging, and direct title at the top of the poster. The top of the poster should also include your name.
  6. You will print this poster on a plotter printer. Plotter printers are provided through various on-campus resources. The Multimedia Studio has a plotter printer and charges $2.50 for a 24” print job.
  7. You will presenting your poster in a gallery walk either March 27 or March 29. You will need to be able to walk an audience through your poster without reading it. Your presentation will need to accomplish the following:
    1. Describe the topic of your research.
    2. Describe why the research or enlightening to your field or area of study.
    3. Describe the “so what?” of your research.
    4. You will need to be able to speak on this for 5 minutes.
  8. Your poster will be due the day you are scheduled for the “gallery walk” — either March 27 or March 29.

Points Breakdown

This project is worth 170 points, or 17% of your final grade. These points are broken up into three parts, as noted above in the project description. If this is unclear, direct questions to the course instructor

Important Dates

March 16 — The pitch recording and annotated bibliography are due by midnight through Canvas.

March 27 and 29 — Gallery Walk — Posters and poster presentations due in class.


Ten Simple Rules for a Good Poster Presentation AND Tips on Poster Presentations at Professional Conference