The essential idea of a poster is to convey the essence of your research in a visually pleasing and condensed manner.
Click here for information on poster standards and creation.
Your presentation may consist of a poster board display depending on the topic of your work. Your poster should serve both as a stand-alone representation of your research project and also as a starting point and catalyst for questions and discussions. All students who enter a poster project in the annual Mont Alto Academic Festival will be considered for the University Libraries' Undergraduate Research Award: Excellence in Information Literacy and the Sustainability Award. No additional nomination process is required for either of these awards.
- You are expected to be with your poster for the session so that observers and judges may ask questions about your research topic and presentation.
- Be prepared to describe and discuss your work in an understandable manner for a non-expert audience including students, faculty, and the general public. Descriptions should be clear and concise and should include the major points presented on the poster. Limit your presentation to 2-3 minutes.
- You may have summary handouts of your project or even copies of your original paper available for distribution at the poster site if you wish.
- Please use large fonts for any printed information and sufficiently large representations of figures, table and illustrations so that they may be read and understood from a distance. Observers should be able to read your poster/exhibit heading from 4-6 feet away.
- Each poster should prominently display the following: Your name, your major, and year at Penn State, and your mentor’s name. Include a list of all references used in your work, cited in appropriate bibliographic formats (e.g., APA, MLA).
- Your abstract should be displayed either at the top of your poster or on the table (depending on the type of project).
- Professional dress is expected.
Criteria you will be judged upon
Each exhibit will be given a score from 10 (excellent) to 0 (poor) based on ten different criteria. More specifically, 10 - 9 = Excellent, 8 - 7 = Very Good, 6 - 5 = Average, 4 - 3 = Inadequate, and 2 - 0 = Poor. Each judging form will include the project number, the name of the judge, the individual score for each criterion, the total points awarded (out of 100), and a space for comments (one for each criterion) to be shared with the student(s).
Note that if a required component (criterion) is missing, a 0 will be given for that component of the project.
- Purpose / Question
- Results / Outcomes / Conclusions
- Use of Visuals
If you conducted an experiment
The poster layout should follow the organization of a scientific journal article. Below the required title, author, abstract, and mentor heading there should be a sequence of sections:
- Discussion and conclusions
Each of these sections should be presented in “bullets” of information with appropriate illustrations, figures, tables, or graphs.
If you completed a descriptive research project
How you organize your poster depends on the nature of your project. The great variety of possible types of projects makes a generalized description of this organization difficult. Using your paper’s organizational outline is probably the most effective way to structure your poster. For example, if you have written a paper about the ecology of an organism, the following poster organization would be very effective:
- Description of the organism (with appropriate illustrations);
- Distribution of the organism (with appropriate maps, etc);
- Specific microhabitats utilized by or needed by the organism;
- Feeding habits and behaviors;
- Life cycle information (hibernation patterns, migration patterns, etc);
- Reproductive habits and behaviors;
- Interactions with other species;
- Conclusions; and
If your work is the result of a class project, be sure to display the assignment requirements as part of your poster.
It is recommended that you work closely with your faculty mentor to develop an appropriate poster organization for your specific project.
Technology Services at Mont Alto has published information online about printing large posters for projects like these. Poster projects should be e-mailed to [email protected] when completed so they can be tracked and printed. Anything submitted less than one week prior to needing the poster is not guaranteed. If there are questions regarding the process, students should contact the Mont Alto ITS helpdesk.