Document Format Style
Word Document formatting.
- Save the file in Word .docx format and not .doc.
- Use Times New Roman, 12-point font.
- Margins should be 1″ all the way around.
- The document should have a hanging indent set at 1.5″ and the line spacing should be set to 1.1.
- The first line on the first page should be the filename in bold and italicized. After that, add two line breaks before the transcription begins.
- Insert a line break between each change in speaker. Do not set the line height to make a space, but instead manually create a line break.
- Speaker ID tags (names, “Moderator:“, “Respondent:“) should be in italics.
- Do not add text to the header. The only text in the footer should be the file name and the page number. Both should be Times New Roman, 10-point font, and italicized.
- All text should be in black.
- Write out numbers zero through nine, and use numerals for 10 or over. There are exceptions to this, such as when the word million is used, or when a number 10 or over starts a sentence. Use your discretion.
- Write out “percent” instead of using a percentage sign.
Every assigned files comes with a sample transcript, which you can type directly into and will already be formatted correctly.
Should I break up long blocks of text into paragraphs?
If one person is speaking for a long time, we break up their speech into paragraphs. Usually there are about five to eight sentences in each paragraph, but use your discretion.
How many spaces go after a period?
Use only one space after the end of a sentence. Never use two spaces or more.
Accepted spellings of common words.
- All right, not alright.
- Mm-hmm when someone is agreeing, not any other spelling.
- Uh-uh when someone is disagreeing, not any other spelling.
- Okay, not OK.
Common punctuation styles.
- Periods and commas go within the quotation marks at the end of a quote.
- Do not use ellipses (…) for anything. If the speaker stops abruptly, trails off or moves to a different thought, use an em dash (—). For example: “I thought about—wait a second.”
- Do not use any exclamation points (!), no matter how excited the speaker sounds.
- Write out “percent” instead of using a percentage sign (%).
Do I spell out numbers?
Generally, numbers one through nine are spelled out, while 10 and up are written as numbers. There are some exceptions to this, such as writing out “a million” instead of “1,000,000”.
Is speaker ID required?
No, we do not require transcriptionists to do complete and accurate speaker ID. It is helpful if in focus groups you identify the moderator (Moderator:), and then the participants can be labeled as “Respondent:” or any other placeholder you choose so that the format is preserved.
For interviews, we ask you label as “Q:” for the interviewer and “A:” for the respondent. All ID tags should be in italics, and “A:” is also in bold.
However, if you have a multi-speaker file that seems like it will be easy to identify all speakers and you want to do the ID, email your project manager to ask if it’s okay to do so. Some files may not need speaker ID at all, so check with your project manager first. Your PM will also give you an updated pay rate at that time.