The MITRE Corporation®

mitre.org

Mission:

A not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government, MITRE operates federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), which are unique organizations that assist the United States government with scientific research and analysis, development and acquisition, and systems engineering and integration. MITRE also has an independent research program that explores new and expanded uses of technologies to solve its sponsors’ problems.

Services:

Write and edit a variety of products for the Office of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, including:

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

wiche.edu

Mission:

WICHE and its 16 member states and territories work collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for all citizens of the West. By promoting innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy, WICHE strengthens higher education’s contributions to the region’s social, economic, and civic life.

Services:

Perform a variety of editing tasks for the print and interactive online editions of Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates, 9th Edition, including:

  • Substantive editing
  • Copyediting
  • Proofreading
  • Reports and studies

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

cew.georgetown.edu

Mission:

An independent, nonprofit research and policy institute affiliated with the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy that studies the link between education, career qualifications, and workforce demands.

Services:

Provide substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading services for the Center’s reports and other publications.

  • Review draft reports and correspondence for overall structure, logical flow, clarity, and concision.
  • Ensure content adheres to the current Chicago Manual of Style and the CEW house style guide, and refer style questions to the staff editor.
  • Proofread reports and correspondence.

Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 3

Headphones and a laptop computer on a desktopIn the first post in this series, I discussed how I prepared for an on-site reporting and same-day summary-preparation job at a day-long conference in downtown DC. In the second post, I covered the my activities on the day of the conference itself. In this final post, I’ll discuss the tools and techniques that I use to turn my notes and recordings into a polished final product for the client.

Now the meeting is over, you’ve saved and backed up your files, and you’re back at the office ready to write up the summary, transcription, or minutes. Where do you start?

We’ll begin by looking at ways to clean up your notes. They are the core around which you create the final product. Then we’ll move on to tips for working with your text and audio files.

After completing those steps, you will have a product that looks and reads great! So let’s get started…

Continue reading “Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 3”

Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 2

Conference speaker at podiumIn my previous post, I discussed how I prepared for an on-site reporting and same-day summary-preparation job at a day-long conference in downtown DC. I covered note-taking tools, audio recording tools, and such easily-overlooked aspects like advance work, a suitable typing and recording surface, and suitable cables.

In this post, I’ll continue by discussing my experiences on the day of the conference itself. Just FYI, this will be the shortest of the three posts. Because it builds on the work done in advance of the event and it prepares you for the work to be done after the event, there isn’t as much to cover. But its length isn’t a reflection of its importance; it is the center of the whole effort.

Before the day of the event, be sure to take the time to map and time the route and the parking, unless you have done the trip before — and even then, it’s probably worth double-checking for peace of mind. Before leaving, check in with your favorite traffic-monitoring app to see if there are any road closures, accidents, or other obstacles that could delay you. All of this may seem like overcaution, but remember: as a freelancer, you are always representing your business to your clients. Courtesies like punctuality convey your professionalism. They’re hiring you to solve their problems, not to hear about yours.

So now you’ve arrived at the meeting site. If you’ve followed the tips in my previous post, you’ve already scoped out the room and know where you’re going to set up. Let’s get started!

Continue reading “Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 2”

Jacob & Sundstrom, Inc.

Now part of ICF International

Mission:

With experts at the leading edge of cybersecurity, ICF International helps clients implement solutions that reduce the risks of data theft, reputation damage, and operational outages.

Services:

Technical writing and editing consultant on federal RFPs, marketing communications, and web content.

  • Document collection and review, writing, and editing for RFPs for federal government contracts
  • Design, writing, and editing for quarterly newsletter produced in support of a JASI on-site project
  • New and revised content for the JASI website

Human Factors International, Inc.

www.humanfactors.com

Mission:

Ensuring usability and systems consistency through software ergonomics, human factors science, and design considerations.

Services:

Technical writing and editing for HFI clients in the medical and health services sectors.

For GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Writing and design for “Frequently Asked Questions About Prescription Medicines,” a prototype FAQ web page.

For the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Writing and editing of content for a prototype consumer web site, including:

  • Text for nine web pages
  • Initial batch of 125 database records on federal government social assistance programs and information sources
  • Online dictionary of terms
  • Content maintenance guidelines
  • Project final report

For HFI

Writing and editing of outline and training materials for a two-day “Writing For the Web” course to be offered
as part of HFI’s usability training programs.

National Center for Construction Education and Research

www.nccer.org

Mission:

Assists construction organizations and companies in implementing strong workforce development programs while helping individuals get the training and assessments they need to build successful careers in the construction industry.

Services:

Writing and editing of textbooks and supporting educational materials for NCCER’s comprehensive suite of apprentice-training curricula, including:

  • Working closely with project managers and subject matter experts to develop and revise outlines for curricula and chapters
  • Developing and revising student learning objectives and performance evaluation criteria
  • Researching and writing new content
  • Editing and revising existing content
  • Writing and editing test questions
  • Researching new and replacement figures and artwork and securing permissions
  • Writing and editing instructor materials such as lesson plans and PowerPoint decks
  • Profiling subject matter experts for biographical features
  • Writing summaries of textbooks for the NCCER catalog

Curricula included:

  • Sprinkler Fitting 2011 code revision, Levels 1-4 — lead technical writer
  • Plumbing Level 1 (current edition) — lead technical writer

S4Carlisle Publishing Services

www.s4carlisle.com

Mission:

A global leader in publication services for transforming and enriching the learning experience.

Services:

Technical writing and editing for a wide range of professional training and classroom textbooks.

For the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)

Writing and editing of textbooks and supporting educational materials for NCCER’s comprehensive suite of apprentice-training curricula, including:

  • Working closely with project managers and subject matter experts to develop and revise outlines for curricula and chapters
  • Developing and revising student learning objectives and performance evaluation criteria
  • Researching and writing new content
  • Editing and revising existing content
  • Writing and editing test questions
  • Researching new and replacement figures and artwork
  • Writing and editing instructor materials such as lesson plans and PowerPoint decks
  • Profiling subject matter experts for biographical features
  • Writing summaries of textbooks for the NCCER catalog

Curricula included:

  • Plumbing Levels 2–4 (current edition) — lead technical writer
  • Masonry Levels 1–3 (current edition) — lead technical writer
  • Carpentry Levels 1–4 (current edition)
  • Pipeline Maintenance Levels 3–4 (current edition)
  • Scaffolding (current edition)

For Cengage Learning

Revising and writing PowerPoint decks for a new edition of a criminal justice textbook.

Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 1

Conference room and podiumA client recently asked me to provide on-site reporting and same-day summary preparation services for a day-long conference in downtown DC. The job provided me with an excellent opportunity to try out a combination of various tools and techniques — some new, some old — that I had used separately for individual projects, but until then had not used together.

All the pieces worked and played well together, and I was so pleased with the results that I wanted to share them with other writers who are, like me, always looking for ways to improve their writing and editing techniques in the field. Over the course of three brief posts I’ll be summarizing my experiences before, during, and after the conference.

Before the Conference

Although for on-site reporting projects I have generally preferred to use my laptop (a late-2013 MacBook Pro) for taking notes and recording, for this trip I wanted to travel light because I knew I would be taking the Metro and walking a lot. That meant using my trusty iPad and its Logitech Ultrathin keyboard cover. Here’s how I got my iPad ready:

Continue reading “Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 1”