Tips for Poster Preparation

Posters/exhibits/displays/demonstrations are set-up on easels and long tables in the first floor lobbies of the Morris University Center with ~25 presenters in each session. The audience and judges walk around the posters and tables and chat briefly with the presenters.

Students will have 4-5 minutes to explain the information in the poster/exhibit/display or do the demonstration and 2-3 minutes for questions, for a total of 6-8 minutes with the judges.

Posters and table-top exhibits/displays may be up to 3 feet high x 4 feet wide in size (see templates below for printed posters).

We will provide poster boards and easels to mount printed posters, but students need to bring pins or clips to attach the printed posters.

Suggestions on How to Prepare a Poster

  • A good poster presentation should capture your audience's attention, start conversation, and help you tell a story about your research
  • Summarize information or research concisely and attractively to help publicize it and generate discussion
    • A mixture of text, tables, graphs, pictures etc. will allow you to communicate your message quickly and effectively.
  • Know your audience so that you can communicate to them most effectively:
    • The Celebration of Scholarship is attended by fellow students at SSU, along with its faculty, and outside community members
  • Review the Poster Judging Rubric (DOCX)
  • The title should be short and draw interest
    • Creativity is good (but avoid being too flashy)
  • Font sizes (these are just suggestions – you may find they need to be larger or smaller depending on formatting and font style):
    • Titles should be in a font of 70-80
    • Sub-titles should be in a font of 36-40
    • Body text should be in a font of 24-28
  • Be consistent in the font used and use a simple font (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri)
  • Organize the poster in a way that leads the viewer through the display
  • Make illustrations simple and bold
  • The display should be self-explanatory
  • Text should be clear and to the point
    • Do not use: dense text
    • Do use: bullet points, numbering, headlines, or short paragraphs to illustrate the content
  • Document sources as necessary by using an accepted citation format (e.g. MLA, APA, etc.)
  • Effectively use graphics, color, and fonts
  • A neutral colored poster is more pleasing to the eye than a bright colored background. Avoid busy backgrounds and incompatible color combinations
  • Organize and eliminate distracting visual noise
  • Include acknowledgments, your name and institutional affiliation
  • Look at the bottom of this page for example templates that you can use to create your poster if you want to create a printed poster.

How should I start?

  • First identify the topic and consult your mentor about its relevance and timeliness
  • Identify the most important/interesting finding of your research project
  • Decide how to share your research with conference attendees. Determine if you should use charts, graphs, photos, or other images
  • Formulate and practice a talk that will complement your poster (identify the “talking points”)
  • Be prepared to go through multiple revisions to perfect your initial draft
  • Edit and proofread before the poster is printed
    • Both yourself and your mentor

How do I get my poster printed?

  • After making your poster and having it reviewed and approved by your mentor take the final PDF file on a flash drive to the SSU Print Shop (in ADM 020) no later than March 27, 2020 (and if it is done before then please bring it there earlier). If you do not bring it to the Print Shop by this date it will not get printed in time for the Celebration of Scholarship
  • At the Print Shop you will have to fill out some paperwork – when they ask you what the poster is for tell them that the poster is for Celebration of Scholarship
  • The Print Shop will then contact you about picking up your poster so you can put it on display in the poster session


Poster Templates

Note that these example poster templates are just that, examples. You are welcome to use these as templates for poster size or create your own poster, just be sure to keep the poster size no more than 3 feet high x 4 feet wide. Be sure to talk to your advisor if you need help with creating your poster!

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