One of the assets any working professional will have is paying keen attention to details. But with a job like court reporting, there is an even higher value put on this trait. If you are a court reporter, you need to be detail-oriented because it aids you in mitigating transcription mistakes. When it comes to matters of the court where truth and justice must prevail, nothing could be more important than the accuracy and coherence of your transcriptions.
Typically, you’ll earn your living by transcribing notes and taking down witness testimonies. Naples Court Reporter shares that a substantial part of the job requires you to take down an accurate summation of any trial in real-time. What you put down matters to the involved parties of the case, especially for their attorneys who count on the veracity of your transcripts. As such, it is critical for you to pay attention to details so you won’t miss anything. Getting things done correctly will make your life easier, and it will also benefit the witnesses, lawyers, judges, and jury members who count on your work. Paying attention to details will surely amplify your reputation for being a competent court reporter. Take a look at the following tips to help you be more adept in keeping track of details.
Edit Your Work Meticulously
When it comes to editing, allotting plenty of time is crucial for stellar documentation. You can never be too careful when what you’re crafting pertains to something legal. A lot of things hinge on the documents you are encoding, so failure is definitely not an option. When it comes to submitting accurate work, you need excellent editing skills. You’ll need to take note of the following:
- Edit with Caution: Another term for this task is scoping because you look at your work with an eagle eye to spot mistakes. Ideally, it would be best if you took your time when doing this so you can spot overlooked grammar or punctuation mistakes. Being careful means you can deter any unnecessary issues.
- Pay Attention to Name Spelling: It would help to obtain copies of identification cards of the parties involved. Sometimes, names are spelled differently, even if they sound the same. You can have a Hannah, Hanna, or Hana. Securing IDs ensure that you get things right.
- Fact-Checking Important Details: This also applies to fact-checking the spelling of streets, cities, buildings, and company names. You can try searching an authoritative site before finalizing your draft. If you are unsure, you can ask the assistants of the attorneys involved to check their files to see if you have the correct spellings. At times, exhibits utilized during the deposition proceedings will also contain these spellings. All of these will help you prep a detailed and thorough transcript.
- Check for Readability: Most importantly, editing will correct issues at the core of writing like your language clarity or your sentence construction. Thorough editing entails improving the tone of your work and its overall readability.
Proofread Everything Before Submitting
Proofreading goes hand in hand with transcribing. It is recommended that you examine your transcription multiple times before submission. It assures that your final draft is free from errors like wrong word choices, typographical errors, or formatting mistakes. This step also ensures you adhere to the rules required for your final document. When proofreading, keep this in mind:
- Proofread Using Various Formats: You can perform this task through a PDF or an ASCII file. Though online editing with your Computer-Aided Transcription (CAT) software will help, staring at the monitor for far too long will strain your eyes. It would help to print your documents because looking at old-school paper will give you a fresh perspective. A lot of people attest that reading things on something tangible like paper, rather than solely relying on the CAT will ensure you spot mistakes that you may have overlooked.
- Try Different Working Positions: When you are already very comfy and cozy in your chair, you may miss some details while you’re feeling relaxed. Having an option to read on a stand-up desk keeps you alert, allowing you to focus better on the task at hand. Changing your positions will keep you on your toes and aid in your concentration.
Eliminate All Kinds of Distractions
While you are working, it would be best to eliminate anything that can distract you. Try the following:
- Turn off the TV.
- Tone down your music.
- If you have kids, you may need to lock yourself in your home office.
- Keep away from the temptation of checking your social media platforms.
When you are distracted, your thoughts will wander off, which equates to missing important corrections. It is best to create a peaceful, quiet atmosphere that makes it conducive for you to do optimal work. This allows you to stay focused so that you can churn out top-quality work.
Keep with the Flow
When it comes to something as delicate as transcripts, you need to focus on its continuity. Consistency is vital when it comes to your final output. Usually, in the editing and proofreading phase, you tend to work in segments. However, to assure that everything is lucid and coherent, you have to do one read-through of the entire transcript. This ascertains that you see the overall picture so that the quality of your work has unity and is never compromised.
Resist the Urge to Rush
When there is a deadline looming, you may be tempted to rush to get things over and done with. However, cutting corners will only make you commit mistakes. When you are under a deadline, it is even more important to stay calm, focused, never panic, and avoid rushing. When these haphazard errors occur, you will need more time to revise things again. Working slowly and steadily assures your output is more accurate.
The quality of your transcripts will affect your reputation as a court reporter. It is vital to pay attention to details and go the extra mile to ensure the accuracy and integrity of your work. After all, a court reporter’s worst nightmare is getting an errata sheet, which means more work needs to be done.
Author Bio: Evie Mills is an Outreach Specialist at Anoodigital.com. She is also passionate about writing. Her key areas of interest are a lifestyle, business, technology and home decor. In her free time, she loves listening to music and play with her cute dog.