Encoding Exercise

To get some practice with text encoding, choose one of the following documents to transcribe and encode. If you have time to do more than one, that's even better. The level of detail is up to you, but you should start by getting the entire document transcribed and encoded at a basic level. By the end of the session you should have encoded at least one short sample document, including the TEI header. Feel free to work with a partner or a group if you prefer.

Document Skeleton

Start by creating a simple encoded skeleton showing the basic structure of the document and the essential components of the encoding. This process allows you to model the document in a preliminary way before you actually start typing much of the content.

To produce your skeleton, we suggest the following:

  1. Open a new copy of the document template and save it with a different name.
  2. In the TEI Header, change the content of the title and author elements (leave the rest for now).
  3. Inside the text element, insert a basic document structure that matches the structure of your sample document. Include elements for the body, and for the front matter and back matter if these are present. Then inside each one, insert elements representing the subdivisions of the text.
  4. Once you have the basic organizational structure of the text encoded in this way, choose a representative sample section and insert the elements that you will need to represent the lower-level structures of the document. Pay attention to things like paragraphs, quotations, images, lists, headings, and other features. Transcribe the first few words of each feature: this will help you validate your document.
  5. Once you have a sample section roughly sketched in this way, validate your document. Fix any errors; you may need to insert additional elements to make the document valid.
  6. Look at the rest of your sample and see whether there are other sections that include features you haven't yet covered; encode these as well.
  7. Once you have a valid skeleton for your document, begin transcribing the content in full. This process will probably reveal additional, local features that you may wish to encode, such as names, dates, spelling modernization, foreign-language words, and so forth. Save and validate often.