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Poster Presentations at SOURCE

A poster is a good option for projects that can easily be conveyed in a two-dimensional printed format and are characterized by exploration of a question, hypothesis, process or problem. 

  • Posters are hung with pushpins on display boards.
  • Posters cannot exceed 3 feet high by 4 feet wide.  Larger poster sizes may be considered by special request.
  • Tri-fold cardboard displays are NOT allowed.
  • Authors are expected to stand by their poster display during their poster session during which time conference attendees can come and view the poster and interact with the author.

What is a poster?

A poster is where the researcher directly presents their research results as a visual display and is usually a mixture of a brief narrative paper, intermixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats.  Projects that do not have tables and figures can also be presented as posters. By writing concisely and with a few areas of focus, a poster can communicate your research and help synthesize your main ideas and research directions. 

Why have posters?

For many researchers, the poster format is superior for the presentation of their project.  A poster can allow for clear and more reflective process of presentation, especially of statistical or visual information. Projects in any discipline can be presented in poster format with narratives that highlight the main points and conclusions, allowing them to be absorbed at every person's own pace as they view the poster.

How should I construct a poster?

Poster formats vary depending upon the type of information that is presented.  Use the poster layout below as a start.

  • The title of the presentation, the institution where the work was completed, and the author names should be placed in large letters at the top center of the poster. 
  • Text should be easily read at a distance of 4 feet (1.5 m). A font size of 18-20 (5-6 mm) or larger is recommended. Handwritten copy is unacceptable.
  • When in doubt, edit out!  Crowded posters with too much information are difficult to read. Make certain that every item in your poster is necessary. Your poster should stimulate discussion, not give a long presentation.
  • Use blank space to highlight or offset information.  Place related materials (e.g., photo with accompanying text) close together.
  • Space your information proportionally. A good way is to divide your poster either horizontally or vertically into three or four sections, and place your materials within those sections.
  • Use a white background with dark text and images to decrease printing costs and improve readability.

For more information on poster design and to view examples, visit these additional resources: