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HNRS 40000: Honors Senior Seminar


A poster session is the presentation of research information by an individual or members of a research team. Poster presentations or sessions have become a major format of communication at academic conferences or meetings.  Check with the sponsoring conference, association, or agency for guidelines and deadlines for submission.

For the full library guide on Poster Presentations:  Poster Presentation Design

Poster Design


  • Title:   Includes author, institution.
  • Abstract:  Summary of hypothesis, process and findings.
  • Introduction: Rationale, purpose, hypothesis.
  • Methods: Procedures used to conduct study, collect and analyze data.
  • Data/Results:  Analyses and findings illustrated by graphs, charts, tables, pictures.
  • Conclusions:  Statement of the main research outcome(s).
  • Acknowledgements: People who have supported researcher such as an advisor, collaborators and grant support.
  • Reference(s): Work cited, using discipline specific format (MLA, CBE, APA, etc..).

Note: It is important to provide the source for any images included on the poster.


Font size and lettering

  • Try to establish a hierarchy of importance using the font size.
  • Title should be legible from a distance of 5 -10 feet. Text should be legible from 1- 2 feet.
    Title:  Largest font size  - 65 -108.pts
  • Subtitles:  Next largest font size : 36- 45 .pts
  • Body text:  18-27 pts. 
  • Font selection is critical.  Sans serif fonts work well for titles and labels because of the clarity and simplicity 
  • All text should be at least between 18-27 (Preferably  24) font size 
  • Refrain from using more than two font styles 
  • Use bold, italics or underline to emphasize a word.
  • Avoid using all caps 

Colors and white space

  • Colors should be limited to 2 or 3 - If you choose to use multiple colors, use them in a consistent manner
  • Use consistent spacing between each element of the poster.


  • Map out the sections of the poster. Consider using gray-filled boxes as a placeholders for graphics or text. 
  • Most people read left to right and top to bottom.
  • Avoid the common mistake of including too much information. Additional information can be included in handouts or on websites.

​Statistics and graphs (illustrations, photographs, charts and graphs) 

  • Make sure the lines on any graphs are labeled correctly.
  • Graphs and figures should be the same size for consistency.


Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools allow a user to organize and retrieve information, such as citations for books, articles, and Web sites.  Two popular tools are Zotero and Mendeley.  

Provide citations on a poster when paraphrasing other's work as you would in a research paper.

Always cite image sources.

Cathy Michael

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Cathy Michael
Ithaca College Library 953 Danby Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850‑7002