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Poster Presentations

Academic posters are an effective way of conveying academic research to your audience.  While they are similar to academic research papers in terms of the rigor of research, they are different in how the research is portrayed.  At the UCR Community College Honors Research Conference, all posters are automatically entered into the poster competition, and up to three will be awarded with prizes in each of the two categories: Arts/Social Sci/Hum & STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math)


Poster Presentation (Video): Sample Poster Presentation

Please use the following instructions to help create the most effective poster possible:

  • The poster should be 4’ wide by 3’ high, although 4’ by 4’ is acceptable. Posters can be created in software programs such as PowerPoint or Presentation and can be printed out at most reprographic shops. (Check with your honors director to see if your college print shop is able to print your poster.)  Alternatively, posters can be hand-made.

  • Your poster will be displayed at the conference on a three-legged easel (provided by conference), so it will need a hard backing that will allow it to lie flat.  It is recommended to use a trifold project board 36"x48" found at most office supplies stores. Some printing services will print the poster on a flat backing. Otherwise, you can use binder clips to attach a printed poster to a project board. You may want to consult with your honors director to see if mounting materials are available for your use.

  • The title of the poster, the name (or names) of the student(s) and faculty mentor(s) and the name of the college should appear at the top of the poster.

  • The title should be a minimum of 2 inches high (144 point) and student and college name should be a minimum of 1 inch high (72 point).

  • The main text in the poster should be legible from a minimum distance of 3 feet (minimum of 18-point font).

  • The text presented should be clear and concise and explain the purpose of the project, the research conducted and the results and conclusions. 

  • Headings are a useful tool to delineate sections.  Headings should be in 36-point text.

  • Text should be kept to a minimum and instead much of the information should be able to be conveyed through the use of graphics. This is one of the key components to a poster presentation!

  • Visuals include tables and/or figures (drawings, photos, charts)

  • All visuals must have clear and appropriate labels, including a caption that describes the content of the graphic.

  • Properly formatted references should be provided in the text and captions. Most posters also include a reference list section.

  • The overall layout of the poster must be attractive.  The poster should not be cluttered with too much text or graphics. Fonts should be consistent throughout.  Researchers have demonstrated that most readers are able to better follow consistent text, so we suggest a maximum of two different fonts.

  • Background colors or images should not distract from the text and graphics of the poster.  Keep in mind what you are trying to convey with the poster.

  • The flow of the poster should be logical and clear. The information in one section should lead logically into the following section.

  • The text in the poster should be spelled correctly and should be free of grammatical errors.

  • The information on the poster should be arranged into three or four consistent columns for ease of reading.

  • The poster should explain the relevance and/or significance of the research and should aim to catch the interest of the reader quickly and effectively. 

  • Regardless of the quality of the paper, the poster should not just be a research paper stuck onto poster board.  The poster should show information, not merely tell information.

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