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Penn State Mont Alto Academic Festival Poster Judging Form
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Penn State Mont Alto Academic Festival Poster Judging Form

Please click on the icon to the left to download a printable copy of the judging form for the poster category in the Penn State Mont Alto Academic Festival.  Please note: this file is in Microsoft Word format.


  1. The essential idea of a poster is to convey the essence of your research in a visually pleasing and condensed manner.
  2. Your presentation may consist of a poster board display depending on the topic of your work.
  3. Your poster should serve both as a “stand alone” representation of your research project and also as a starting point and catalyst for questions and discussions.  You are expected to be with your poster/exhibit for the session so that observers and judges may ask questions about your research topic and presentation.
  4. Be prepared to describe and discuss your work in an understandable manner for a non-expert audience including students, faculty, and the general public. Descriptions should be clear and concise and should include the major points presented on the poster/exhibit.  Limit your presentation to 2-3 minutes.
  5. You may have summary handouts of your project or even copies of your original paper available for distribution at the poster site if you wish.
  6. Please use large fonts for any printed information and sufficiently large representations of figures, table and illustrations so that they may be read and understood from a distance.  Observers should be able to read your poster/exhibit heading from 4-6 feet away.
  7. Each poster should prominently display the following: Your name, your major, and year at Penn State, and your mentor’s name. Include a list of all references used in your work, cited in appropriate bibliographic formats (e.g., APA, MLA).
  8. Your abstract should be displayed either at the top of your poster/exhibit or on the table (depending on the type of project).
  9. Professional dress is expected.
  10. Review the Poster Presentation Judging Form for more detail on judging criteria.






The poster layout should follow the organization of a scientific journal article. Below the required title, author, abstract and mentor heading there should be a sequence of sections:

  • Introduction/Background
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion and conclusions
  • References

Each of these sections should be presented in “bullets” of information with appropriate illustrations, figures, tables, or graphs.




How you organize your poster depends on the nature of your project.  The great variety of possible types of projects makes a generalized description of this organization difficult.  Using your paper’s organizational outline is probably the most effective way to structure your poster. For example, if you have written a paper about the ecology of an organism, the following poster organization would be very effective: 1. Description of the organism (with appropriate illustrations); 2. Distribution of the organism (with appropriate maps, etc); 3. Specific microhabitats utilized by or needed by the organism; 4. Feeding habits and behaviors; 5. Life cycle information (hibernation patterns, migration patterns, etc); 6. Reproductive habits and behaviors; 7. Interactions with other species; 8. Conclusions; and 9. References.

If your work is the result of a class project, be sure to display the assignment requirements as part of your poster.


It is recommended that you work closely with your faculty mentor to develop an appropriate poster organization for your specific project.




(Adapted from the PSU Beaver Undergraduate Fair)

For additions advice on creating poster presentations see: