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Tharwat Mohamed EL Sayed EL Sakran, Speaker at Catalysis Conference
American University of Sharjah, Saudi Arabia
Title : Textual differences between the engineering research article (RA) and its subsequent poster


Converting a RA into a poster is a highly complex, recursive reading-writing activity involving constraints that can impose an overwhelming cognitive load on academic poster designers, thereby adversely affecting their production. This study contributes to a growing, but still relatively ambiguous, body of research which emphasizes the importance of designing clear and easy to navigate through academic posters. Another contribution of this study is that it proposes practical and user-friendly guidelines for poster design and presentation of research contents. A total of 20 RAs with their subsequent posters were used for this investigation. It probes into how the collected RAs discourse is presented in posters and what elements in the RAs are modified, changed or totally removed. Several software packages were employed to help find answers to the research questions. Comparisons of the RAs with their subsequent posters show that the longer the original RA is, the smaller the matching percentage between them. Yet, further analyses reveal that posters mirrored the same rhetorical structure of the RA. As for the contents, results indicated that the RA contents were copied and pasted onto the poster in 95% of the cases examined. The present researcher, in an attempt to provide clear guidance regarding what research content(s) to display on the poster, proposes that poster contents may reflect the original RA structure with more emphasis allotted to new information in the research. Such a practice will help reduce the limitations that the poster space may impose on the contents, allow the poster presenter more freedom to use a bigger font size, and most importantly; interact and engage actively with the interested audience. The research concludes with limitations and recommendations for further research.


Dr. Tharwat M. EL-Sakran is a professor of linguistics in the English Department at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. He has published several papers on various issues related to teaching English for specific purposes, cross-cultural communication, translation, interpreting, forensic linguistics and discourse analysis. Dr. EL-Sakran is also an associate member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and a certified fraud examiner (CFE).