Participation Guidelines

Presenting a Poster

Poster Printing

Sign up starting 11/1/2015
  • Posters for the Student Research Colloquium are eligible for a $25 credit towards the cost of poster printing through Copies Plus in Atwood. The approximate cost to print a standard 30" x 40" poster at Copies Plus is $25.
  • Starting March 10 through April 8, 2016 (or until 40 credits have been claimed) the credit will be applied on a first-come first-serve basis.
  • The credit can only be applied toward the cost of poster printing. Additional costs will be the student's responsibility.
  • There is a limit of one $25 credit per student, and one credit per poster.
  • Recommended poster size is 30" x 40".
  • Posters should be no larger than 36" x 48".

Poster Tips From the Judges

Can you impress the viewer in 60 seconds with your poster? Are the title and content connected? Originality is very important so be creative!

  • Refer to "Opt-In" Competition page for judging rubrics.
  • Overall Appearance Crisp, clean, and pleasing.
  • Text/Graphic Balance Think about visual/cognitive style.
  • Text Size Font size and style - use wisely.
  • White Space Avoid clutter.
  • Organization and Flow Easy to follow.
  • Author Identification My name is nobody?
  • Research Objectives Easy to identify.
  • Main Points Short and sweet.
  • Summary Useful for a quick glance.
  • References Is there anything new under the sun? Cite!


Your poster will consist of a combination of headings, text, illustrations, charts and diagrams. The amount of each will vary depending on the topic and the research you conducted. Write down everything you would like to include in your poster. Next, sketch your poster on a piece of paper with all of the different sections you would like to cover. Headings may include title, introduction, methods, results, recommendations and conclusions. Follow this general format:

Poster size


IMPORTANT NOTE: Posters will be mounted on easels. Therefore, the recommended poster size is no larger than 30" wide x 40" long.


The viewers of your poster display will be educated, but not necessarily in your field. Jargon and acronyms specific to the research or discipline should not be used unless explained (not the best option).

Creating your Poster

Free resources and directions for creating posters, plus examples of completed projects:

Elements of your Poster

Props or objects

You (in consultation with your faculty sponsor) may wish to incorporate physical objects, demonstrations, or apparatus. These elements are, in most cases, allowed and encouraged. The primary concern is for the security/safety of these components. Continuous attendance by the student(s) or designated persons is recommended. The removal of these objects to a secure location (not provided) is also recommended during the times they are not in use, or that they will be unattended.


Mentally remove yourself from the ongoing research project long enough to identify the single, fundamental concept, that captures the essence. Express this concept in no more than ten words. Write the ten words out and distill them down to five. For example, if my topic was (in ten words): "Bicycle tire inflation pressure's relationship to rock and curb damage" I would distill this to: "Inflation and Bicycle Tire Damage". This might not be the final title of your research, but it will provide a focus toward which the presentation must proceed.

The major headline on the top of your display should include: the title, the student(s) name(s), and the college/department/faculty sponsor(s) name(s). These should be a minimum of 50 mm (2") (142 pt.) block style letters. The use of one type font is recommended. Choose a font that is san serif, not decorative. Bold blocky text works well. Avoid fonts that strain the eye. Just because you can use them doesn't mean you should. Color, bold face and underline are far better than mixed fonts or italicized words used for emphasis.


The introduction should be about three to five sentences. Don't repeat the abstract because it will be published in the colloquium proceedings booklet. Each presenter will receive an electronic copy of the booklet.

PLEASE NOTE: In respect of conservation efforts, we are reducing our printing to a minimum. If you would like to receive a paper copy of the proceedings booklet (in addition to the electronic version), please send an email to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.



The poster is primarily visual; use text to support the graphics. A target to aim for is 20% text, 40% graphics and 40% empty space--which consisting of borders, margins and paragraph separations.

  • Use simple words and short sentences.
  • Use a sans serifs font, like Helvetica bold that does not have curlicues.
  • Suggested sizes: section headings 36 to 48 point, supporting text 24 to 36 point, be restrained in your use of large type and colored text for emphasis.
  • Posters are not publications of record; avoid excessive detail and large tables of data.


Use figures, tables, and graphs to tell a story. Organize them into sections, for example, use slightly different colored backgrounds. Use borders that are about 10 mm around the figures. Don't rely on your verbal explanations at the poster session to link the poster components together. Cues for continuity come from layout and sequence. Graphic material should be legible from 1.5 m (6 feet) away. Computer graphics application programs (ex. Adobe Illustrator) are available for student use at most SCSU open computer labs.


There are a number of conventions in poster design and it can be a good idea to follow them. People tend to read a poster either from left to right (in rows) or from up to down (in columns) in a logical order. Generally, you should lay out your poster material in vertical columns so people can follow your story as they move from left to right. Use the center area of the display area for methods used and results.

To help with the layout, you can make a scaled down sketched version (sometimes referred to as a thumbnail or mockup). Cut a piece of paper in the same rectangular dimensions of the poster but scaled down to be easier to work with. Cut pieces to fit on this thumbnail, including rough sketches of the illustrations and portions of text. Lay the components out (without glue) on the rectangle to arrange them for best effect. Have others, or your faculty sponsor, check the design.

Free web sites with design and layout ideas:

Displaying your poster

In alignment with common practices at many conferences and workshops, we are changing the way posters are displayed at the colloquium. Students will no longer be using poster boards to mount their posters. Instead, posters will be displayed on an individual easel. A foam board and clips will also be provided for student use during their designated session.

Plan to arrive 30-60 minutes prior to your assigned time to allow yourself enough time for setup.



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