The USC Undergraduate Symposium will have a "Poster Session" in which your works will be exhibited. These guidelines apply principally to traditional “poster” presentations, but students entering artistic work or other non-traditional entries should provide similar summary information about their work. The Poster Session is designed to allow you and an audience to dialog about your work. During the session, faculty, staff and students will walk throughout the displays and talk with those presenting work that is of interest to them. This format provides you with a unique opportunity to exhibit your work in an extended visual method of presentation.
You should arrive about one and a half hours before the session to check-in at the registration table, which will be located at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom. This will give you ample time to set up your poster and/or display before the kick-off of the symposium in the Ballroom. You or someone from your group (if you are exhibiting a group project) should remain with your poster during the three hour-period to allow for faculty questions, judging, and conversation pertaining to your work. Please review the suggested guidelines below for preparing your poster.
Your poster should address key points of your work and should not include overly detailed information. You will be given the opportunity to provide the fine points about your work to the faculty judges and to others who are interested as they review your poster. Well-prepared posters facilitate discussion and achieve good coverage of the topic while maintaining clarity. We suggest that your poster provide a brief overview of your work in an attractive manner.
A table will be provided for your poster. Since we are providing tables, and not easels, your poster must be free-standing. In other words, your poster must be able to sit on top of a table without falling over. In order for all of the posters to have a uniform appearance, we suggest that you to attach your materials to approximately 3.5' wide x 2.5' high foam board that is 1/4" thick. Your poster should be two-sided or three-sided, in order for it to be free-standing. Foam boards are available from the USC bookstore or arts and supply stores. Larger size posters may be used, if desired. Unless you have made other arrangements, you may be sharing space on a 6-foot table; thus, the dimensions that your poster occupies on the table should be no more than 3 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep.
Be sure to carefully prepare your poster well in advance of the Symposium. There will be no time or materials available for last-minute preparations. Remember that the poster session will take place indoors at the Ronald Tutor Hall Campus Center Ballroom. If you believe that you might need certain materials to repair your poster or to secure it to the table to protect it against wind, please bring these materials with you.
The title of your poster should appear in banner format at the top of your poster in capital letters about 1” high. Below the title, put your name (or the names of the individuals in your group) and the category in which you are competing.
The flow of your poster should be downward in columns, starting at the top left and ending at the bottom right. Most posters include a brief introduction, a methodology section that includes subject information, procedures, results, and conclusions. Avoid jargon and ensure that your conclusions leave observers with a concise understanding of your most-important findings.
You may wish to use color for highlighting and to make your poster more attractive. Creativity is important. You may use pictures, photographs, diagrams, figures, tables, cartoons, and so forth.
Try not to overwhelm observers with excessive text. State your main result in six or seven lines or less, in lettering about 5/8” high. Make sure that your poster can be read from a distance. The smallest text on your poster should be at least 3/8'' high and your important points should be in a larger type
Try to craft your poster to be as self-explanatory as possible, which will facilitate your discussion with the audience during the session.
You should prepare a short presentation (several minutes in length) that you can periodically deliver to those who assemble around your poster. Be ready to give this presentation several times as people move though the displays. Plan to spend the entire session at your poster. Handouts may be in order, depending upon your subject matter.
If your poster is a group effort, more than one author should attend the session to aid in the presentations and discussion, and to provide the main presenter with a chance to rest or answer questions individually with those who have detailed questions.
Examples and further information about posters can be found by searching the web. Click here to review a few examples of posters.
Faculty judges will deliberate after the poster session ends at 2:00 p.m. and select winners in each of the five categories. At 2:00 p.m. you should remove your poster. You are encouraged to attend the Award Ceremony and dinner reception at Town and Gown beginning 6:00 p.m., where the prize winners will be announced.