Court reporter’s task does not limit with the actual transcript creation. The clients are looking for super-accurate service and to keep to high accuracy standards a court reporter should proofread in addition to developing the transcript. Of course, court reporters can hire proofreaders. Often, this is time and money consuming, and most court reporters prefer doing the job themselves. If you are a court reporter who also does the proofreading job, here are some proofreading tips for you.
Court Reporting: Knowledge Comes First
No matter how detail oriented you are, you will not find mistakes if you don’t know the stuff. This concerns everything from official punctuation rules, spelling, formatting to idioms and legalese. A good grammar book that you can refer to is a good start. But the most important tip for the newbie court reports is to doubt. Always doubt and always check. You may have the impression that you did the perfect job and never think that the word “bizzare” is actually “bizarre”. You should check everything that you find for the first time even if it seems you too familiar and you are sure in the correctness of the word.
You Need Different Screens
What do I mean by different screens? For example, if you are typing in Microsoft Word, read the text also in Google doc. This lets you look at the screen differently, and it is easier to identify the mistakes. In addition to that, some people better notice the errors when they print out the transcript. After reading on the screen, print it out and read the text on paper. It’s always better to read both on the computer screen and on the paper.
Give Your Brain a Chance to Rest
After the initial translation of the transcript, start editing using the tips above. Once you finish with editing, you might think that the work is over. Believe me, it is not! After editing, set aside the transcript for several hours or even a day. You will be amazed by how many mistakes you will find when you read the transcript with a fresh eye. Typos and semantic errors are more noticeable when you read the written transcript after some time. Don’t ignore this tip! Try it, and you will always get back to the transcript after several hours. This is the best you can do to make your client happy.
Play the Audio File or Tape Recording Once Again
After you have done all the job, double play the audio file or the tape recording. This will prevent missing words, incorrect speaker identification, and duplication translations. Yes, it takes time and effort to produce a super-accurate transcript. But once you master the art of proofreading, you can be sure that your client is going to call you again.
Sign up to AppearMe
My final advice for you as a court reporter will be to sign up to AppearMe, an attorney portal where court reporting jobs are posted. Once you create your profile, you don’t need to send your CV every time. When an attorney posts a court reporting job, you will get a push notification on your mobile and an email. Be the first to respond, and you will get the job. Sounds good? Sign up today and be a member of a big attorney portal!