Poster Guidelines

Posters will be displayed Thursday through Saturday (most undergraduate posters will be displayed Friday and Saturday) in the exhibit hall.  Authors are present to answer questions and distribute copies of their paper. Unless informed otherwise by the section head, authors are expected to be present for the entire session.

Well-conceived poster presentations provide easily comprehensible findings. The materials should exploit the visual aspect of the poster format. For example, the use of color can highlight key aspects of an analysis, an effective way to help the viewer focus on elements the author believes are most important. Graphs or tables may be better presented on larger pages. Simply attaching the pages of a paper to the display panel does not constitute a poster presentation.

The posters will be organized by section to encourage more conference attendees to visit the posters. Each presenter will be assigned to a numbered display panel.

The poster materials are attached to an 8' by 4' display panel. Presenters need to arrive 15 minutes before their session begins and have all presentation materials prepared for quick assembly. Push pins supplied at each display panel can be used to attach poster materials to the panels. Presenters must remove their materials from the display panels at the end of their session for the next presenter. 

Poster Format and Suggestions

Title, Authors, and Institutional Affiliation: Provide this information on a strip of paper at the top of the display panel. Lettering height should be no less than three inches. The text of the paper should be visible from five feet.

Abstract: Display a one-page abstract in the upper-left corner of the display panel, directly under the title. The text should be visible from five feet.

Hypotheses, Graphs, and Tables: If clearly stated and simply displayed, these allow the reader to understand the research without extensive written explanation. Briefly identify the research design and relevant literature as well.

Clear Sequence: The layout of findings should follow the sequence of the paper clearly. Numbering figures or using arrows greatly aids the reader's quick absorption of material.

Avoid Clutter: Do not clutter the presentation with too many figures and avoid too much written material. The benefit of the poster presentations is the reliance on graphics to spark interest in reading the entire paper. More open space is easier on the eye, and its simplicity supports the clarity of presentation.

Plan Ahead: Preview the presentation prior to the conference to make sure information is legible from a distance of five feet.

MPSA Best Poster Awards

Two awards are presented each year for outstanding posters presented at the conference:

  • Best Paper Presented in a Poster Format. A $250 award for the best paper presented in a poster format.   
  • Best Undergraduate Paper Presented in a Poster Format. A $250 award for the best paper presented in a poster format by an undergraduate.

Please visit the MPSA Awards page to see information on winners from previous conferences.