Current Students

Graduate Writing Center

Welcome to the Graduate Student Writing Center!  Our Graduate Student Writing Consultants are Ph.D. students at SMU trained to help you in your academic writing.  Our consultants can help you at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to the final draft.  Consultants can offer suggestions on the overall structure of your writing and general approaches to academic writing, in addition to sentence structure and grammar guidance.  We are happy to work with you on all academic writing, including:

Coursework or class assignments
Conference abstracts or presentations
Research papers or journal articles
Theses or dissertations
Grant and fellowship applications

Students can work with the writing consultants by booking one-on-one appointments.  Individual appointments last for 30 minutes.  If you have a large writing assignment, plan on making multiple appointments over several weeks to continue working with the consultant.

You are encouraged to submit a piece of writing you need help with when you book an appointment. You may also send your piece of writing directly to the consultant by email in advance of your appointment.

Summer 2020:   The Graduate Writing Center will be open in Summer 2020 (June 1-August 4)!  Writing consultants are currently scheduling appointments by Skype or Zoom.  You may use the online scheduler linked below to schedule a meeting.  Your Graduate Writing Consultant will then be in touch with you with more information about holding the consultation virtually.

Schedule an Appointment


The Graduate Writing Center is located in Fondren Red 312.


  • This service is open to doctoral and master's students in Dedman College and the Lyle, Meadows, and Simmons Schools. 
  • Students must book appointments at least 12 hours in advance, and are limited to a maximum of two appointments per week. 
  • If you cannot make your appointment, you must cancel at least 24 hours in advance to provide others an opportunity to use the slot.  If you fail to cancel your appointment with 24 hours' notice twice in one semester, you will not be able to book an appointment for the rest of the semester. 
  • The consultants are not here to write for you - be prepared to learn from them and revise based on their guidance.
  • If discussing big-picture issues, a document of 10 - 15 pages in length is appropriate for a 30 minute appointment.  If requesting detailed copyediting assistance, the maximum document length is five pages per appointment.  
  • You have the opportunity to upload a document you'd like to discuss at your appointment.  If possible bring a printed copy to your session as well.  
  • If none of the available appointment times work for you, please feel free to contact the consultants directly.  They may be able to make an appointment with you at a time not currently available in the calendar. 

Meet the Consultants


Denise Patton

Denise Patton is an Ed.D. student in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. She graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with an M.A. in Family Psychology and a B.A. in Psychology/Secondary Psychology & English Certification. She has 20+ years of teaching experience and enjoys helping others in the social sciences write effectively. No writing task is too big or too small, so please contact her for assistance with your current writing project.

Rachel Trammell

Rachel Trammell joined the Ph.D. program for the Department of Chemistry in 2016 with a concentration in bioinorganic chemistry using copper under the supervision of Prof. Isaac Garcia-Bosch. She graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2016 with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in English. She is happy to help with any scientific or technical writing needs you may have for reports, abstracts, research papers or journal articles, grant applications and more!