Poster Guidelines

Poster sessions will be held Thursday through Saturday (most undergraduate poster sessions will be held Friday and Saturday) in the Exhibit Hall. As a method of organization, each poster presenter is assigned to a numbered display panel on the perimeter of the Exhibit Hall on the 4th floor of the Palmer House. Poster numbers will appear in the printed conference program that matches the numbered display panel in the exhibit hall.  

Authors will be present to answer questions and distribute copies of their paper for the duration of their scheduled session. Unless informed otherwise by the section head, authors are expected to be present for their 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.

All presentation materials should be prepared for quick assembly 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the scheduled poster session. The poster materials are to be attached to an 8' by 4' display panel by presenters approximately 15 minutes before their session begins. Push pins will be supplied at each display panel 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.

Would you like to see a poster session in progress? Watch this short video on Giving an Effective Poster Presentation for examples and tips.


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 Award

One award is presented each year for the outstanding Undergraduate paper presented as a poster at the conference:

  • 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.