• Christine McDonald
Part of the Studies in English Language book series (SEL)


A transcription is a written copy of speech. If you are studying written material, you will not need to write this out again if you have a facsimile (an exact copy) of the original material. You may, however, need to copy your written material accurately and neatly if a facsimile is not necessary or possible. Obviously, if you are producing your own writing for analysis, then this is a case when you will need to write it out. You might also need to do some copying out if you want to use edited extracts of your material to comment on. With spoken material, however, you will need to copy or transcribe your material from the spoken to the written form in order to study it. For many students, this is a new area of study. The first section therefore goes into some detail about how to do various types of transcription. It begins with an outline of a straightforward method of transcription using ordinary spelling, firstly dealing with a monologue and then looking at conversation (Section 7.2). The punctuation conventions used for speech are different from those used for writing and these become more complicated when more than one speaker is involved. The following section shows how prosodic features such as speed, stress and tone can be added to a transcription, if necessary.


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© Christine McDonald 1992

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  • Christine McDonald

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