Transcripts allow anyone that cannot access content in audio (for example, a podcast) to read a text-only version instead.

General Tips

  • Every word spoken is included, including relevant interjections.
  • Use proper punctuation and grammar.
  • Make it easy for users to know that a transcript is available and to get to the transcript. For example, put the transcript itself or a link to the transcript right under the video, or alongside the podcast player.
  • The transcript can be shared via a webpage or a document. If you share a document, make sure to use a format everyone can open on their devices (for example, a plain text format, such as .txt).
  • If you already have a closed caption file, you can use the caption file to create the transcript. Most caption-editing tools provide an option to export a plain text transcript. Also, NYU Stream and YouTube automatically provide a transcript for videos that have closed captions.

Proper Identification

Identify Speaker

  • Introduce a speaker when they begin talking or making a noise.
  • Indicate speaker when the speaker changes, i.e. a dialogue.
  • Use a colon (:) to separate name and text.
  • Use the name appropriate for the content.
    • Informal: Use full name to introduce, and use just the first name after that.
    • Formal: Include titles. Use full name to introduce, then title and last name after that. Ex: "Dr. Smith".

Example Identification of a Speaker:

John: NYU has fantastic programs!
Mary: [hums in agreement] It sure does!

Identify Sounds

Identify any sounds that add to the audio's:

  • Aesthetics
  • Meaning
  • Message

Ex. [audience applauds]; [Mary sighs]; [car honks]; [thunder]

  • Identify Tone of Voice:
    Ex. [wryly]; [yelling]; [whispering]

Identify Music

At the very least indicate [Music] when it is playing.

  • If the song type adds to the audio meaning, then indicate the type:
    Ex. [somber music]; [swelling orchestral music]; [ominous music]
  • If you can identify the song, then do so:
    Ex. ["Thriller" by Michael Jackson]
  • Put music notes around lyrics (windows: alt + 14; mac: use character palette)
    Ex. ♫ Backstreet's back, alright ♫

Example of a Transcript

Additional Resources