Posted in Resources

Transcription Help

I’ve talked to some of you one-on-one about transcription strategies, but I wanted to put some of what we’ll talk about today in a resources you can access later. Here’s a few tips and instructions.

First, a resource: This is a transcription program with a text editor tht you can use directly in Crome. It has a free 7 day trial period before it will ask you to buy a license. There are other apps, services, and players out there you can use. Find one that will help you slow down and replay audio easily.

Now some advice:

  • Think about the purpose of the interview you are transcribing as you make editorial decisions about, for example, editing out speech patterns, or excluding part of an answer that wasn’t useful to you (or that the participant asked you to exclude.) You will want to communicate these decisions as part of your research data.
  • Think about format. I’ve talked to several of you about using a two column approach to transcription that is similar to one I recommended for observations: One column for the data, and one for questions, impressions, comments, and thoughts you may want to return to. Given the exploratory nature of your interviews, this might be an effective strategy (It is not a required strategy.)
  • Please include with your interview transcript a header that communicates the meta-data about the interview (participants, time, date, transcription date, etc). Along with the identifying data listed above you should also include a short description of the purpose of the interview and any editorial choices you made. For example: “this transcription focused on the substance of the participant’s responses, rather than speech patterns and dialect. Text may be edited for clarity in the following ways:….”




I am a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition and Purdue University. I currently teach first year composition. My research interests include threshold concepts in composition, invention strategies, service-learning, community engagement, and professional and technical writing.

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