Honors Research Poster Guidelines

Display Guidelines

Your project will be on a table and therefore must be **FREE-STANDING**. Free-standing display boards are available at many places such as Staples, Office Max, and Target for under $10. The dimensions must not exceed 48' in width.

For some ideas about design, walk through LSA. The 5th floor has a number of posters in the hallways, some printed on 8 1/2" X 11" and mounted on backing paper and arranged, others printed on matte finish paper on a plotter printer (heavy coated), and others printed on glossy printer. Note the impact of color, paper choice, design, and readability. 

Basic concepts

  • Make your poster interesting. It should grab the attention of the viewer, educate them, and be easy to understand. The total poster should fit into a 3 foot by 4 foot space.
  • Keep all written material to a minimum, less than a page for each section.
  • Use 24-font or larger so that any writing can be seen from 3-4 feet away.
  • You can either print the poster in a large scale format on a plotter printer (go to FedEx, or Canterbury Media Services, Inc.) or paste text and images to the poster display board.

Suggested Poster Components

  • Title and author. Include your name and school, as well as your faculty mentor's name, department, and school with the zip code. The title should be at no smaller than 55 point type.
  • Abstract. A one paragraph overview of the entire poster topic. Keep it brief and interesting. What are the research questions and/or problems?
  • Introduction. Introduce the topic with an outline including background information and relevance describing how this research will add new information in the field.
  • Methods. Describe the steps you used for your project.
  • Results/Data Analysis. More space should be devoted to your results than to any other section. Data should be displayed in graphs or tables that are easy to read and clearly labeled. All figures should have a figure legend explaining what type of experiment was performed, a brief description of the data, and what the results demonstrate. This can include diagrams or pictures presenting techniques or outlining experimental design. The number of figures should not include more than seven.
  • Conclusions. Summarize the main points.
  • Futures Directions. Briefly describe what will happen next for your project.


  • Be prepared to walk interested visitors through your poster. Give them the highlights and stay focused on the take-home message. Keep it brief and expect to be interrupted with questions. It should be a dialogue. You should have fun!
  • Posters will be reviewed by a small group of MCB faculty and students.
  • Be concise, but thorough, keeping in mind that each set of reviewers will be evaluating at least 15 posters.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Research content. How well designed is the research project and what kind of experimental results are included?
  • Poster layout. Is the poster easy to read and understand? Is the written material clear and concise? How well is the data presented? How easy is it to interpret the results?
  • Oral presentation and discussion. Each presenter will be evaluated for their understanding of experimental data and research concepts presented on their poster.

Poster Examples