Despite its centrality to the methods of discourse analysis, transcription has received disproportionately little attention in its own right. In particular need of discussion is the issue of transcription as a practice inherently embedded in relations of power. Examples from a transcript of a police interrogation, from a newspaper transcript of a radio program, and from a variety of linguistic transcripts demonstrate that transcription involves both interpretive decisions (What is transcribed?) and representational decisions (How is it transcribed?). These decisions ultimately respond to the contextual conditions of the transcription process itself, including the transcriber's own expectations and beliefs about the speakers and the interaction being transcribed; the intended audience of the transcript; and its purpose. The two basic transcription styles, naturalized transcription, in which the text conforms to written discourse conventions, and denaturalized transcription, in which the text retains links to oral discourse forms, have equal potential to serve as politicized tools of linguistic representation. A reflexive transcription practice, as part of a reflexive discourse analysis, requires awareness and acknowledgment of the limitations of one's own transcriptional choices.