Practicum #2: Transcription and the American Prison Writing Project, due 1/17

This Practicum has 2 parts: (1) transcription and (2) reflection. Bring a copy of your transcription to class so that we can discuss our work and the questions this project raises.

Part 1: We will all be registered as transcribers for the American Prison Writing Archive (APWA). Find their project website here. Be sure to read about what the project does and explore the archive that we are helping to build.

For this practicum, we will work in pairs. Select an essay from this list to transcribe with your partner. (No two groups can have the same letter.) Also, there are a few essays on this list that have been transcribed already but are still listed, so avoid these authors:

  • AL-FreemanJamaal-001
  • AL-GentryDaniel-001
  • AL-GentryDaniel-002
  • AL-HairgroveDonald-001
  • AL-SmithAndrew-005
  • AZ-BrookshireLevert-018
  • AZ-ChavezWilliam-001
  • AZ-ChavezWilliam-002
  • AZ-FieldsHanson
  • CA-OtinianoAlberto
  • OR-PerryDaniel
  • PA-CramerJohn-001

I learned from the project director that their transcription form is still under development. So, for the meantime, we will be transcribing into Word documents.

Transcribing instructions: The APWA project director sent me these instructions (this is a 2-page Word document). They tell you how to format your Word document and what editorial principles to follow in your transcription. They also tell you that you must name your Word doc with a certain filename convention. We must follow the APWA instructions very carefully for our work to be included!

Select your essay wisely, as some are longer than others. You and your partner need to finish your transcription before class.

Due: On Tuesday, bring a printout of your Word document transcription to class. You will be swapping transcriptions with other teams to proofread. You will have a chance to make corrections with your partner. The polished transcription must be uploaded to Canvas before midnight on Tuesday (the day we meet).

P.S. If you are worried that you need more time, let me know, as this is not an assignment that I want you to turn in in an incomplete or rushed state. Small extensions are no problem (though I urge you to complete the assignment on time). Our transcriptions will be published and they represent someone else’s writing. Please treat their writing and your transcription with care.

Part 2: In-class reflection and discussion of our transcriptions. You can also blog about this process and this assignment for your Thursday blog post.


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