How to Succeed on the NRAH Poster Project:
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How to Succeed on the NRAH Poster Project: (title font size approx. = 88) Sarah Vonhof, Marisa Murdock, and Amanda Klein (authors font size = 48) Course Title and Date Presented (font size = 40) SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. What will you produce and turn in?

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How to Succeed on the NRAH Poster Project:(title font size approx. = 88)Sarah Vonhof, Marisa Murdock, and Amanda Klein (authors font size = 48)Course Title and Date Presented (font size = 40) SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY

  • What will you produce and turn in?

  • On the day you present your poster, you will have the following:

  • One (1) copy of a large format poster to display on the wall or board

  • Three (3) learning objectives on 81/2 x 11 paper to display next your poster and to turn in

  • Three (3) copies of a one-page handout of the poster printed on 81/2 x 11 paper to turn in (Figure 2). Select Print Preview, print Slide and Option- Scale to fit paper.

Reminders for charts / images / graphs

  • Include a caption if you have taken an image from the web

  • Include a reference for any data or graphs (you must do this manually using font superscript for the numbers)

  • Check the resolution of the image– it may not print well in large format. Even some fonts get fuzzy at full size.

  • Label figures (e.g., “Figure 1” or “Table 1”) when appropriate. You do not have to label picture images (but you need to cite the source.)

Presentation days, Sign-Up Process and Attendance

  • Poster presentation days are Wednesday April 21st, Friday April 23rd, and Monday, April 26th.

  • Teams will sign up in class on our administration day, or on the sign-up sheets outside Dr. Vonhof’s office. You must have a topic when you sign up. Contrary to the syllabus, you do not have to submit a proposal and have your topic approved.

  • Information presented on the posters will be covered on the Final exam.

  • Attendance is compulsory. Posters will be available for review only on the day of the presentation.

  • What are the Grading Criteria?

  • Description of topic 20%

    • Informative, and thorough, a clear statement of purpose and well- defined topic/event/issue

  • Analysis 40%

    • Relevant, critical, scholarly, and thorough

  • Presentation 20%

    • Organized, professional, and well-written

  • Originality 10%

    • Creative, interesting, engaging approach and /or design

  • Learning Objectives 10%

    • Clearly translate to a test question, relevant to the main ideas of the poster

Figure 2. Example poster hand-outs.


This poster describes the poster assignment in NRAH in the spring 2010 semester. It is a new project, and the syllabus description was just a rough draft. Marisa and Amanda and I have worked to refine and clarify the assignment. We provide the expectations, guidelines, grading criteria and resources for students to succeed.

Here is the syllabus description: 1

“You will choose a partner to work with. The two of you will select a US President and use the era of his administration as your time frame. You will research and describe the salient features of environmental history during that time period. You will also analyze and explain the importance of these features (or this era) relative to American history as a whole. For example, you might describe one or two pieces of legislation passed during the Nixon administration and explain the impact on farmland or forests. Further analysis might explain the political process involved or the social and economic implications of an environmental law. Another approach might be the description of relevant environmental impacts, and the reaction of a state or federal judiciary or legislature. The analysis might focus on a precedent set by a particular course case, or a turning point in environmental history due to a judicial case or state or federal law. One other approach would be to focus on a local-scale environmental issue or event, using a presidential administration to put the issue or event in national context.”

Formatting Tips (subtitle font size = 36)

Below are a few basic tips for formatting.

  • Internal text font size= 32

  • Format Autoshape allows you to set the internal margins for a text box

  • For tighter text, format Line spacing at 1 with 0.0 lines before and after paragraphs

  • Sometimes full justification (aligning text to margins on both sides) works better than borders. It can, however, stretch sentences out so that there are huge spaces between words which looks bad. Borders are extremely difficult to line up exactly, and often appear to look right and print differently.

  • Tools-AutoCorrect Options-Auto Format As You Type-turn off AutoFit title and body text size

  • There are many helpful hints online at ITS. There is a Large Format Printing Information Resource and Guide, which is a narrated / animated Presentation and other tips for poster design, development and production ( In addition, you might find it beneficial to check out the posters along the first floor corridor in Baker, and attend the Spotlight on Student Research2 to see more examples.


  • Here are some things to think about as you research, prepare, and perfect your poster:

    • Is your poster interesting and relevant (that is “why should anyone care to read it?”)

    • Have you clearly and fully described the topic / event / issue?

    • Is your analysis critical and relevant? Does it explain why your poster is relevant to American environmental history? Are the implications or consequences clearly linked?

    • Is the design interesting? If you were at a conference, would people be drawn to your poster? Would they read it all the way through or get bored or confused?

  • Lastly, be creative and have fun with this assignment! This is your opportunity to personalize the course and develop and hone valuable research, and communication skills.

Figure 1. ITS Poster Design, Development and Production Resources.

Notes and/or References (font size 36)

1 Vonhof, Sarah. 2010. FOR 204 Natural Resources in American History Syllabus. Syracuse: SUNY-ESF.

2 Spotlight on Student Research and Outreach. 2010. Syracuse, NY: SUNY-ESF.

This font size is 28. The number is formatted as superscript

>>> Be sure your citations are in proper format! There are links on citations from the General Directions page of the course website, which is accessible from the home page.

>>> You must have at least five (5) scholarly sources (= books, journal articles). Websites do not count as scholarly sources. Do not use Wikipedia as a reference.

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