Best Practices for Transcribing Interviews

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Contents

Scope

The American University in Cairo Best Practice Guidelines for the Transcription of Oral History Interviews is based on the Style Guide: A Quick Reference for Editing Oral Memoirs [1] from the Baylor University Institute for Oral History [2]. Whenever a topic is not covered by this manual or Baylor University’s style guide, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition [3].

Layout

Elements

Abbreviations

Abbreviations Avoid abbreviations in oral history transcripts. Do not abbreviate the following:

okay
et cetera
Names of cities, territories, provinces, states, or countries
Cairo, Egypt, etc.
Civic and military titles
Governor, Judge, Bishop, etc.
Months and days of the week
June, Wednesday, etc.
Dimensions, measurements, weights, degrees, depths, etc.
pounds, inches
Parts of a book
Chapter, Section, Table, etc/
Parts of addresses
Avenue, Street, etc. Abbreviate the following:
Era designations
AD, BC, CE, BCE
Initialisms and acronyms
NATO
Use bracketed notes to spell out the abbreviation
NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]
Time
AM, PM

Capitalization

Capitalize proper nouns, including names of institutions, people, places, and things. Always capitalize Internet and Web. Use Web site, not website.

Crutch Words

Spell out the following crutch words:

  • uh
  • uh-huh
  • um
  • um-hm
  • unh-uh

References

  1. Style Guide: A Quick Reference for Editing Oral Memoirs
  2. Baylor University Institute for Oral History
  3. Press, The University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2010
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