How to Make Transcribing SO Much Easier

I wrote this post on my Academic Tips and Tricks blog. I hope it’s helpful!

Academic Tips and Tricks

Don’t thank me for this post, thank my boyfriend, who is a genius.

This innovation actually changed my life. As a linguistics student I’ve done A LOT of really complicated transcriptions over the years, and I’ve done many many hours of simple transcription as a paid transcriber. My set-up used to look like this:

transcription set up 1

I imagine that looks familiar – you can quickly access the media player to stop and start it and if you’re doing a simple two-person transcript you’ve done what you can to make everything quicker. But you still have to waste time taking your fingers off the keyboard to click between the two programmes and manually start and stop the audio. You might even be clumsily clicking the bar on the audio player to skip back to listen again.

Now my set-up looks like this:

transcription set up 2No media player. And you don’t need a laptop with built…

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5 Best and 5 Worst things about Research

Inspired by a PGR friend who is creating a wonderful website of people’s best and worst things about research ( I thought I’d list my top 5 in each category. Feel free to comment with yours below – and feel free to contact my friend and contribute to her project :).

When my picture is uploaded to The Research Story, my best thing about research will be “Those “Eureka!” moments” and my worst thing will be “people saying “you’re so clever, this will be easy” – my pet peeve, as you will know if you read my post ‘Life Jackets’.

So, here are my top 5 in each category, I’d be hard pressed to order these – all the goods are good and all the bads are baad, so in no particular order:

My five best things about being a researcher

  • Those “Eureka!” moments
  • Being part of the PGR community
  • The amazing self-indulgence of getting to study something you love AND being allowed (even encouraged!) to talk constantly about it
  • Slowly feeling your expertise growing
  • Really feeling you’ve earned it

My five worst things about being a researcher

  • People saying “you’re so clever, it will be easy” when actually you feel like you’re drowning
  • Balancing work, family and studying
  • Feeling like you should know everything in your field and being immensely embarrassed when you don’t
  • Constant fear and uncertainty
  • Worrying that your contribution to knowledge is totally lame and not actually useful or insightful

So those are my 10, what are yours?

I’m Sooooo Confused!

Sometimes (always) writing a PhD makes you do this face:

This is me today. I’m trying to write something about requests, and I’ve categorised a bunch of stuff in my data as requests:

requests for action

requests for information

requests for support/patience, and

requests to meet

But they just don’t all follow the typology that most stuff about requests has used:

Mood Derivable (Do X)

Performatives (I am asking you to do X)

Hedged Performatives (I would like to ask you to do X)

Obligation Statements (You have to do X)

Want Statements (I want you to do X)

Suggestory Formula (How about doing X? / if you could do X…

Query Preparatory (Can you do X?)

Strong Hints (don’t you want to live in a clean house?)

Mild Hints (can you do me a favour…)

(Yu, 2011, p. 390)

But are things like : “How can I improve my sentence and explanation?” requests?

Are all questions requests? Most can be phrased as requests that fit into the typology.

What is the actual difference between:

“What’s your name?”, and “Can you tell me your name?”

Are the only questions that are actually questions  abstract seekings where you don’t actually know the question until you’ve found the answer and rhetorical questions?

Is asking for time any different from asking for a material action? Is it a question if the answer is only required to be verbal? Are you not also requesting the person’s time?


Thoughts? Let me know! For now I will just keep looking like the derpyest derp that ever derped.

disclaimer – this is not me, it is Jennifer Lawrence, but that’s basically exactly my face right now