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How to Write in Transcript Form


Transcriptions are word-for-word written documents, meant to reflect a conversation, interview or other spoken interaction. These transcripts are used for a variety of projects, such as oral histories, or documentation of interviews and speeches given in the corporate world. This format of writing requires clear punctuation and organization so that future readers will understand the meaning of the speakers in the document.

Create a title at the top of the page, that reflects the topic of the transcript. Include the date of the original event or interview in the title. For example, if the transcript is from an interview, a possible title would be, "Interview with John Doe, Retired Fireman and Community Member -- Conducted on October 24, 2005."

Write a brief introduction to the transcript. This introduction should clearly state who is being interviewed or who is speaking. If the transcript is from an interview, state the names of the interviewee and the interviewer. If the transcript is for a conference or support group, clearly state what event is being held and any prominent speakers in the group. For example:

"The following transcript is from a meeting, which took place at the Garden Inn during the Professionals Conference in Cincinnati. John Smith leads a discussion about effective planning and various audience members have exciting questions for the meeting leader."

Keep the introduction brief and simple.

Create tags for the speakers noted in the transcript. For an interview, the tags can be the initials of the interviewee and the interviewer. For a conference with multiple anonymous speakers, create a specific name tag for the conference leaders. Use a general tag, such as "Audience Member" or "General Response" for anonymous questions or comments.

Type up the tag of the first speaker followed by a semi-colon and their spoken words. Place a double space between speakers when the speakers change. Be aware of the type of transcript you are creating. Some transcripts require every pause and stutter to be represented, while others require a smooth transcript, editing out the "ums" and "ahs" which were spoken in the original interaction.

Read through the entire written transcript format and look for mistakes or typos. If you have the audio available, listen through the entire audio while reading along with it to look for mistakes.

About the Author

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.

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