Guidelines for the Preparation of an Honors Poster
The Honors Poster is a summary of the results and conclusions in the honors thesis. The poster must be displayed at the Poster Symposium. The poster should include the following: Title (w/student's name and research supervisor's name); Introduction/Background; Materials & Methods; Results; Conclusions (list of concluding statements).
Students are welcome to make use of the Biology Department's large-format poster printer, following the instructions, guidelines, and deadlines below.
Poster Guidelines for using the Biology Dept. Poster Printer: Please follow carefully to ensure that your poster will print correctly!
- Posters should be 40”x 34” in landscape orientation (40” across, 34” up and down)
- Create and submit posters as a Powerpoint file
- No background colors or background images will be permitted. Boxes with color are okay.
- Do NOT cut and paste graphics from Word and Excel. Import graphs as pictures, and images as JPEG files already sized to your specifications in Photoshop or another program.
To insert pictures, graphs, line drawings, etc, use one of the following methods:
*Insert> picture> from file. Import photographs as jpeg; graphs and line drawings as pict or gif.
*Copy (from other document)> Paste Special> as a picture
If you place elements on top of or overlapping with each other (for ex. use Powerpoint to add arrows to a figure), use the grouping feature to merge together all elements. First, select each element, then click Draw on the drawing toolbar, and then click Group.
- Create your entire poster in one platform (Mac or PC). All final edits must be done on a PC and the poster must print from a PC.
- Leave a margin of at least 1/2 inch of blank space around the poster
- Don't use the Helvetica font.
- When you’ve finished working on your poster, click “save as” to save your poster so that all images and material put on your poster become a permanent part of that specific file – not a link to a file on your hard drive. This also shrinks the size of your file and makes printing quicker.
1. In Powerpoint, start with a blank slide.
2. Click File, Page Setup, set "Slides sized for:" to Custom. Enter the desired dimensions: 40" x 34", Landscape.
3. Allow at least 1/2 inch margin all the way around, as you are placing text, figures, etc.
4 . Make a test print to a regular size printer. Select “fit to page” using 8.5 x 11 paper. You should still be able to read the text. If you can’t, increase the point size.
More Poster Specifics
Design and Format:
· Know your audience. Keep in mind that people will be seeing your poster that don’t have a background in your field.
· Know the primary message you’re trying to get through to your audience.
Include the following parts:
3) Methods and Materials
A good poster should have enough information to stand on its own and present your research when you’re not standing by it to go into greater detail. It should provide a brief overview and background for your research, as well as show data and explain the results and implications of your findings. During your poster session you’ll often be asked to take someone through your project. At those times you’ll need to not only discuss your work, but use your poster to highlight the most important findings and points you want to emphasize to your audience. One thing a poster is NOT is a research paper thrown on a large sheet of paper. Too much text is distracting, and is rarely read. Figure out what your main points are and emphasize those.
Experiment by sketching out your poster on a sheet of paper. There are examples of scientific posters around the Biological Sciences Building, many of the Medical Center buildings, and there are many examples on the web, etc. - looking at these may help you decide what you want your poster to look like (or not look like). It's also likely that folks in your lab have made similar posters and can offer suggestions.
A good poster will guide the reader through the project. Think about this in terms of design and laying out the parts of your poster (people tend to look “up to down” and “left to right” when reading a poster).
The size of all graphic elements should be determined by their relative importance and environment. Balance space that is devoted to text, artwork, and white space.
Don’t go nuts with weird fonts, more than 2-3 fonts on the poster, or lots of different text sizes. Do not use the Helvetica font. Serif fonts (like Times) are legible at smaller sizes. An individual should be able to read a poster from 6 feet away. Use the following ballpark font sizes for the different parts of your poster:
TITLE: 72-120 point
SUBTITLES: 48-80 point
SECTION HEADERS: 36-72 point
GENERAL TEXT: 24-48 point
Be consistent with your style. Keep in mind that colors may look different once printed than they do on your monitor.
Other Tips and Ideas:
- Boxes around sections can be helpful – if it fits with the overall style you’ve chosen.
- Use clear headings.
- A simple flow chart describing your Methods is nice.
- Avoid using a lot of text. Just give highlights on the poster.
- Avoid using strings of all capital letters in titles and text blocks.
- Don’t use “title” case for figure and slide legends.
- Be careful using abbreviations. Make sure you define them when first used.
- Use italics instead of underlining.
Some great info on poster making is offered from Mr. Colin Purrington:
http://colinpurrington.com/tips/academic/posterdesign. His template is too large however, so either adjust the size to 40 x 34 or don't use it! Please follow the guidelines and rules given above where they vary from Mr. Purrington's.
Poster Submission Information
• Print fee is $25, due to Jill Foster prior to the Poster Symposium.
Cash or check made out to Duke Biology Dept. Emailing a fund code is okay too if lab will be paying.
• Deadline for submission = Thursday, April 11th at 9 a.m. Send completed, ready-to-print PowerPoint File (pptx) plus PDF for Mac posters to email@example.com by the deadline. Sending earlier is encouraged! If you have trouble sending, bring on a thumb drive or use a shared dropbox folder.
• Follow the poster guidelines above or else we cannot print your poster. Proof final version carefully! We will print AS IS and cannot reprint due to spelling errors, etc.• Other local options for printing are below. Feel free to use those instead, or you can re-use a poster of your work that you may have alreadly printed out.PhD Poster.com http://www.phdposters.com/
Med Media Solutions http://www.medmediasolutions.com/
Fed/Ex Kinkos on 9th Street
Duke Copy Center
Duke Biology Box 90338 Durham, NC 27708 Phone: 919-660-7372 Fax: 919-660-7293