This week I transcribed my first research interview and I found it quite a profound experience. Obviously, I was apprehensive about starting the process, that’s normal for me, but once I began I found it fascinating and I felt like I really got to know my participant. Listening again to the conversation highlighted things I hadn’t registered during our discussion and I began to understand the student experience in more depth. Listening to the participant talk and recording their words made me reflect on my current practice and prompted me to make changes in some of my communications this week. I can see why Braun and Clarke (2006) recommend that researchers immerse themselves in the data by listening to each audio recording before manually transcribing the data, giving a verbatim account, including all verbal and non-verbal utterances with appropriate punctuation and pauses. The process is very active and I’m glad I took this route rather than using an automated transcription service. It was time consuming (10 minutes typing for every 1 minute of speech, plus reviewing and editing) but very much worth it for the intensity of experience and understanding.