excuses for late assignment submission

20 Good Excuses for Late Assignment Submission Your Teacher won’t Refuse

When it comes to late assignment submissions, honesty and accountability are key. Failing to submit work by the allotted time is a constant dread during the academic years. While students try their best to keep up with their studies, sometimes certain unfortunate occurrences can force them to go off-track.  

There are times when the stress of keeping up with everything can prevent them from meeting assignment deadlines. Often enough this is also the result of being careless but there are genuine cases when a student is unable to finish his or her work on time. In such a scenario the student can request for an extension. Though, the reason for the delay in submission has to be substantial in order to get the necessary extension period.

Be careful about making excuses for late assignment submission as it has to be backed by good reasoning. Below are the 20 Excuses for Late Assignment Submission :

1. Backpack Stolen

I got my backpack stolen:  use rampant crime among high school students to your advantage. No teacher in his right mind would expect you to turn in that big assignment if it got stolen the very day it was due. Although most teachers won’t follow through, filing a missing backpack report might not be a bad idea. 

excuses to submitting late assignments

2. Family Trouble at Home Last Night

My mom and dad got in a huge fight last night  and the cops came and I couldn’t concentrate on the assignment: Domestic violence isn’t something to lie about…unless it’s done to save your grade. This excuse works on so many levels:

  • (1) Your teacher will never bring this up to your parents; and
  • (2) you will garner sympathy for the rest of the year. The only way this could go wrong is if your teacher reports this to your guidance counselor and your counselor contacts your parents. That’s probably not going to happen. 

3. Mandatory Travel

I stayed at my dad’s this weekend  and left it there and my mom refuses to let me go back and get it: Teachers are suckers for dysfunctional family stories. This is an all time classic. 

4. Leaving Binder in Mom’s Car

I left my binder in my mom’s car and she’s at work across town:  This is a twist on the easy to see through “I left it at home” excuse. A teacher can reasonably expect someone from home to bring your homework, but not even the meanest teacher would expect your mom to leave work. 

5. Untimely Sickness

I was really sick yesterday and unable to do anything.  The only reason I came is because I didn’t want to miss any more work: Teachers will admire your perseverance and give you the extra day. 

6. Severe Pain from Monthly Period

It’s that “time of the month”:  If you’re a boy, don’t try this. This only works for females on male teachers. 

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7. Death of a Loved One

Grandma died:  Even if the teacher doubts the veracity of your grandma’s death, he’s not gonna call you out on it just in case it’s true. There are obvious problems with this excuse, including the guilt you’ll feel if your grandma does die that week. 

8. An Issue with Pet

My dog died  and I was too upset to do my homework: This is rarely used, but effective, especially if your teacher has a dog. Only a heartless task master would not cut you a break over losing your best friend. 

9. Taking Care of Sibling

I had to take care of my baby sister who was up last night throwing up:  Another underused classic. Be careful your teacher isn’t an e-mailer or he just might e-mail your parents for an update on your baby sister who doesn’t exist. 

10. Tell the Truth You Weren’t in Your Best Mental State

Tell the truth:  This is a revolutionary excuse. Often if you just go to your teacher in the morning and tell him or her the truth, you’ll get some additional time.

11. Your Team Members screwed you Over in a Group Assessment

Teachers  hate  group work assignments, too. We usually set them because we have to embed it into a degree as an ‘employability skill’.

12. You’ve had Writer’s Block

This extension excuse gets points for honesty. If you come to your teacher and say “Look, I’ve read  all  of the readings, but the creativity just hasn’t come” then your teacher might just give you a little extra time.

13. Work called you in for Extra Shifts

When explaining that work has called you in for extra shifts, make sure your teacher knows you needed that money. You don’t need to cry poor or ask for the sympathy card. But let them know: I pay my own way through life, so the extra money meant a lot to me.

14. Computer Issues

convince teacher for late assignment submission

This can get an eye roll.

Blaming technology issues is a cliché excuse that teachers tend not to take too seriously.

It’s used too often and we expect that more often than not it’s a lie rather than a genuine problem.

If you want to get sympathy for this excuse, provide evidence. Here’s some valuable forms of evidence, in order from best to worst:

  • A receipt or quote from a computer repairman that contains the current date;
  • Evidence you’ve been to see the university’s IT department to see if your data can be recovered;
  • A photograph of the broken computer equipment.

These are some additional excuses you can give.

15. Physical Illness

Illness : In case you genuinely are not physically fit to do your homework. This reasoning must be authentic and you are required to provide your doctor’s note. Even in case if someone in your family needs your immediate attention or the student has had a mental breakdown. All of them can be strong reasons to ask for an extension in submission date.

16. Other Paper Due

Other paper due:  In case the student has to prepare for another important paper in the same time frame, he or she can take it up with the professor and request for a late submission. This makes for a valid reason and one can put in an application informing the teacher about the circumstances.  

17. Job Interview

Job interview : This excuse is for slightly older learners. If a student has to appear for a job that is directly related to their subject or area of study then they can be excused for late submission.  

18. You have a Learning Disability

If you have a learning disability, you need to tell your university in advance. There’s really no other way around this one.

Nearly every university these days has support plans for students with learning disabilities.

The most common one is dyslexia. This is the condition in which students struggle with accurate and speedy reading and spelling. It can make university really tough, but universities try to be accommodating for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

19. You are a Carer

Something that has blown me away as a university teacher is just how many students care for their chronically sick or disabled parents, partners or children. Carers are, frankly, inspiring people, and you’ll get sympathy from your teacher.

I’d recommend letting your teacher know in advance about your situation.

20. Others Excuses

There are other unforeseen circumstances that can range from a natural disaster or even an unfortunate incident like an accident. In all such scenarios, students are excused.  

Although Late submission is a common situation during school or college days, there must be a good excuse for the same. Here is an email (or application) format you can use to request your teacher to accept your late submission.

A sample apology letter for being late in assignment submission

Dear Sir/Madam,

This letter is to present my sincere apologies for late submission of my assignment that was due (Insert Date). I understand the inconveniences my lateness might have caused you.

The delay occurred because (Insert your excuse for lateness). I have completed my assignment and can guarantee you that no such mistake will ever happen.

Please accept my sincere apologies.

(Student Name)

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Student Tips

Late assignment submission excuses that don’t fail.


June 27, 2023 • 10 min read

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Academic success depends on completing assignments on time, but occasionally unexpected obstacles arise in life. Although it's always best to plan ahead and manage your time well, late submission excuses have become a common part of student life. In these situations, we need to be resourceful. In this article, we examine a few original and creative justifications for late assignment submissions. 

But before you do anything, take a deep breath and think about your options. There are some good excuses for turning in an assignment late, and there are some that are just plain bad.

Good Excuses for Late Assignment Submission:

Although it is typically not advisable to give justifications for late assignment submissions because it is crucial to prioritize responsibility and time management, there might be occasions when unavoidable circumstances arise. Here are a few valid justifications for submitting an assignment after the deadline:

  • Personal Illness or Injury: If you had a sudden illness or injury that made it difficult for you to finish the assignment on time, that is a good reason to ask for a deadline extension. To prove your claim, offer the necessary proof, such as a medical certificate.
  • Family Emergency: It might be necessary to ask for an extension for your assignment if there is a serious family emergency, such as the hospitalization of a close relative or the occurrence of a natural disaster.
  • Technical Problems: There may occasionally be technical issues that are beyond your control, such as a computer crash, an internet outage, or a software malfunction. These problems may make it difficult for you to finish and turn in the assignment on time. Inform your professor right away, and if you can, include proof like screenshots or error messages.
  • Unforeseen Events: Unexpected situations, like a last-minute work commitment, transportation problems, or a personal crisis, may make it difficult for you to finish an assignment on time. If such circumstances occur, be open and honest with your professor about them.
  • Academic Overload: It can occasionally be difficult to meet all the deadlines if you find yourself overwhelmed with numerous assignments and coursework. In these circumstances, proactive communication with your professor is preferable.

Bad Excuses for Late Assignment Submission:

While it's critical to be open and truthful about legitimate justifications for late assignment submissions, it's equally crucial to identify and refrain from offering lame justifications that lack veracity or show a lack of accountability. Examples of justifications that are typically viewed as inappropriate or unconvincing include the following:

  • Procrastination: Blaming procrastination or poor time management for the delay will have a negative impact on your ability to prioritize your obligations. Taking responsibility for your actions is always preferable to using procrastination as a justification.
  • Social Events or Partying: Saying that you were unable to finish the assignment because you were out having fun or attending social events, parties, or other entertainment-related activities suggests that you value your leisure time more than your academic responsibilities.
  • Internet or Power Outage: Although technical difficulties can occasionally happen, using an internet or power outage as a justification without supporting evidence or documentation may be considered a weak defense. It is a good idea to have backup plans, like local power or alternative internet sources.
  • Forgetting the Due Date: Forgetting the due date for an assignment is not a good justification because it shows a lack of planning and focus. It's critical to remember due dates and use calendars, reminders, and other organizational tools to stay on top of things.
  • Personal Relationship Problems: It may come across as unprofessional and unconvincing to blame a late submission on relationship issues or disagreements with friends, family, or romantic partners. It is best to keep personal matters separate from academic obligations and seek assistance or support if needed.
  • Lack of Resources: It may not be acceptable to claim that you were unable to complete the assignment because you lacked the necessary books or materials. Planning ahead and making prompt use of the resources at hand are crucial.

How to Write an Excuse for a Late Assignment:

If you do have a legitimate reason for turning in an assignment late, it's important to write a clear and concise excuse. Here are some tips:

  • Be honest. Don't try to lie or make up excuses. Your professor will be able to tell if you're not being truthful.
  • Be specific. Explain exactly what happened and why it prevented you from turning in your assignment on time.
  • Be apologetic. Express your sincere apologies for turning in your assignment late.
  • Be respectful. Address your professor by their title and last name.

How to ask a professor to accept a late assignment by mail:  

You can use the following example of an email to ask your professor to accept a late assignment:

Dear Professor [Name of the Professor],

I'm writing to ask for a delay in the due date for my [course name and number] assignment, [name of assignment]. The assignment was supposed to be turned in on [original due date], but I need it by [new due date].

I apologize for the submission's tardiness. I am aware that this is not an excuse, but a few unforeseen events kept me from finishing the assignment on time.

I had a family emergency that needed to be attended to first. I had to travel to be with my [relationship to family member] because they were in the hospital. This consumed a substantial amount of time.

Second, my computer was having some technical issues. My files were completely lost when my hard drive crashed. I lost a few days as a result of having to start the assignment from scratch.

Even though I am aware that the circumstances are not ideal, I am determined to do my very best to complete the task. The finished assignment is attached to this email.

I would appreciate it if you would give my request for a delay some thought. I am sure I can finish the assignment by the new due date.

I appreciate your consideration and time.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Final Thoughts:

While excuses for late assignment submissions can be amusing and humorous, it's important to keep in mind that accountability and time management should always come first. These ingenious justifications ought to be used sparingly and shouldn't serve to reinforce dishonesty or procrastination as bad habits. It's best to be open with your professors, ask for extra time when you need it, and make an effort to turn in assignments on time. Always keep in mind that education is a journey towards growth and development on both a personal and academic level. If you follow these tips, you will increase your chances of having your request granted.

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31 Best Assignment Extension Excuses

Best Assignment Extension Excuses

Students need extensions on their assignments all the time. There are good excuses for an extension … and there are not so good excuses. I’m a professor, and I’ve heard them all. So has your professor. Here are the best ones I’ve heard.

The Best Assignment Extension Excuses



Reasons to ask for an extension

For the rest of this article, I’m going to explain exactly how to ask your professor for an extension – with a focus on just 9 extension excuses.

Some of these are good excuses for turning in a paper late. Others are ones you’ll want to avoid.

Read on to learn which ones to avoid and which to use!

Professors like myself get a lot of extension requests, so knowing how to ask in a way that will get your teacher to grant the extension is very important.

>>>Related Article: 15+ Tips on Requesting an Extension

1. Your Team Members screwed you Over in a Group Assessment

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This extension excuse gets a lot of sympathies.

A little secret: teachers hate group work assignments , too. We usually set them because we have to embed it into a degree as an ‘employability skill’.

So, when you come to your teacher 3 days before submission and say “Teacher, one of my teammates didn’t pull through!”, your teacher will roll their eyes, but totally understand.

What you need to make this excuse work is a paper trail showing evidence that you pulled your weight. Evidence can be:

  • Email and Facebook chains of conversations;
  • Meeting minutes;
  • Completed drafts of sections that you were assigned

If you can show that you’ve put in the effort and genuinely tried to be a good team member, chances are your teacher will want to help you out.

Just beware: you still might lose points for teamwork. It’s an unfortunate reality that sometimes our team members bring our work down and we can’t do anything about it.

But, if you can show you’re a good student and have worked in good faith, this one might just help you pull through and win you that precious extra few days to work on your piece.

2. You’ve had Writer’s Block

>>> Related Post: How to Write an Essay at the Last Minute

This extension excuse gets points for honesty. If you come to your teacher and say “Look, I’ve read all of the readings, but the creativity just hasn’t come” then your teacher might just give you a little extra time.

This reason for asking for an extension on a paper will probably be respected more than most.

Teachers hate when a student comes to them with an obvious lie like:

  • Your dog ate your homework,
  • Your grandma died (again), or
  • your boss is a jerk

These are time-tested lies that we get all the time . It’s rarer for a student to step up and confess: “Look, it’s just a really tough assessment.”

For this excuse to work, it’s best to provide evidence of three things:

  • You’ve tried really hard;
  • You’ve sought help;
  • You’ve come up with a solution so it won’t happen again.

First, show you actually have put hours into the assessment.

Bring to your teacher (either in person or via email) evidence that you’ve read through a lot of readings on the topic.

Bring to the printed readings with highlighting and notes in the margins.

Talk to them about how you thought you might be able to use the information in these pieces for your work.

Second, show that you’ve sought help.

This excuse works best if you’ve primed the teacher already with a few emails spaced out over the previous few weeks asking questions about whether you’re on the right track.

If you’ve already managed to email the teacher a few times about the assignment, send your extension request as your final reply to that email chain of discussion.

Another way of showing that you’ve sought help is showing that you’ve accessed help from the library or another member of the university staff.

Explain to your teacher that you attended a library workshop , talked to your academic advisor, or had ongoing conversations with a Teacher’s Assistant about the assessment.

Third, show how you’ve developed skills to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Explain to your teacher that you’ve thought up some study solutions that you’ll put in place during the week or so in which the extension would take place.

For example, you could note how some study skills you’ve thought might help you out of this situation might be:

  • You’ve found a spot in the library to dig in and do the work;
  • You’ve freed up some time in your calendar over the next 7 days;
  • You’ve found a study tip that you want to put in place

Make sure you not only tell, but show your teacher you’ve tried hard, you’ve sought help, and you’ve identified solutions. If you do this, you’re more likely to have your extension request granted.

3. Work called you in for Extra Shifts

>>>Related Post: Professor Reveals 21+ Excuses for Skipping Class

Here’s another reason to ask your professor for an extension on a paper that gets a lot of sympathies.

We teachers have been there. Poor, living off microwaved noodle. In fact, many of us are still there with you.

When explaining that work has called you in for extra shifts, make sure your teacher knows you needed that money. You don’t need to cry poor or ask for a sympathy card. But let them know:

  • My boss asked me to take on extra shifts; and
  • I pay my own way through life, so the extra money meant a lot to me.

This extension excuse strategy works best when you give advance notice. Let your teacher know as soon as you pick up those extra shifts. Send them an email making them feel like they were a part of the discussion ( Click here to download all my Assignment Extension Request Letter Templates ).

You can say:

Hi [Teacher] ,

My boss has just gotten in touch asking me to cover some extra shifts at work for the rest of this week. I’m pretty short on money at this point of the semester with a few bills coming through, so I’d love to be able to take them.

Obviously this gets in the way of the time I’ve set aside this week for completing the upcoming assignment.

I’m wondering, would you please consider giving me an extra three days to submit my assessment so that I can pick up these shifts? It’d mean a lot to me.

Thank you for considering this request.

Sincerely, [Your name] [Your class]

4. You’re taking a pre-planned Vacation

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This reason for asking for an extension on a paper needs to be flagged very early on.

I’ve granted extensions for this extension excuse, but usually only when students let me know in the first week or two of the semester.

The trick here is to show:

  • That the vacation was booked well in advance and was not intended to interfere with the course;
  • That you really want to complete the course this semester in order to meet a personal goal.

Your personal goal might be to have graduated by a certain date, before your child starts (or finishes) school, or in order to qualify for an internship in a Master’s program that has an application deadline of a specific date.

If you show you’re ambitious and taking your studies seriously, this excuse will go down well.

Teachers don’t always grant this one, so be prepared to be told that your extension is not granted. Your teacher might insist that you submit it before you head off on your vacation, or simply deny the extension.

Something else you need to take into account is that you’re admitting you might miss some classes as well.

It might be worthwhile pointing out that your intention is to complete the weekly readings or tasks in advance of heading off on vacation.

One time when I don’t grant extensions for pre-planned vacations is when the vacation clashes with group work assessments. Your chances are higher if your vacation isn’t putting anyone else out.

Good luck with this one!

5. Computer Issues

This extension excuse gets eye rolls.

Blaming technology issues is a cliché excuse that teachers tend not to take too seriously.

It’s used too often and we expect that more often than not it’s a lie rather than a genuine problem.

If you want to get sympathy for this excuse, provide evidence. Here are some valuable forms of evidence, in order from best to worst:

  • A receipt or quote from a computer repairman that contains the current date;
  • Evidence you’ve been to see the university’s IT department to see if your data can be recovered;
  • A photograph of the broken computer equipment.

Your teacher may even expect you to provide a backup of earlier drafts. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of saving your assignments onto a personal internet cloud like Google OneDrive. Personally, I email drafts to myself to ensure I have regularly saved versions.

You should also expect that your teacher will inform you that the university computers are there, available for you to use.

It’s a good idea to get ahead of this response by letting your teacher know you’ve set aside some time to use the university computers to get back on track.

6. You’re a Carer

>>>Related Post: How to Impress your Professor

Something that has blown me away as a university teacher is just how many students care for their chronically sick or disabled parents, partners or children.

Carers are, frankly, inspiring people, and you’ll get sympathy from your teacher.

I’d recommend letting your teacher know in advance about your situation.

The best way to do this is to ask your student advisor or the course leader to give your teacher a heads-up on this one. Most universities these days assign student advisors to each student for support on issues like this.

Most universities also have a course leader who takes care of a specific degree program or major. If you know who this is, get in touch with them asap and let them know your situation.

Ask them to let your teachers know that you’re a carer which may mean you need special consideration.

Contact the teacher personally towards the start of the semester. Talk to them in person after the first class, or if you’re a distance learner, send them an email early on.

These early emails help to prime your teacher for when you ask for an extension.

If you haven’t informed the teacher of the situation, I’d recommend talking to them in person as soon as possible, telling them what your situation is, and asking for some additional time on your assessment.

As always, some form of evidence of your situation is really helpful. Doctors, social workers, or other support networks should be able to write a letter for you that you can pass on to your teacher.

There are two illnesses that I hear about the most. It’s either your child who’s been sick or you who’s been sick. Let’s take them in order:

1. Your Child’s Sick.

The ‘My Child’s been Sick’ excuse is one that I get a lot, but also one that I usually find believable.

One reason it’s so believable is that often five or six of my students who are parents will come to me explaining that an illness is going around the school.

It’s also an excuse that is easy to sympathize with. Children take up a lot of time, and with many of my students being single parents, I understand that children come first.

This is one that crops up late, but as usual, try to ask for an extension at least 72 hours (3 days) prior to the submission deadline.

A letter from a doctor goes a long way here but is not always necessary. If you can’t get a letter from a doctor, copy in some evidence that your child has taken the last few days off school. Attach a copy of your sick note to the school when you email your university professor .

2. You’re Sick.

If it’s you who has been sick, a note from a doctor is usually expected. It also requires some advance warning. If you got sick 6 days before the due date, why did you only email your teacher on the day it was due?

If you didn’t give advance warning, it looks pretty bad.

Similarly, if you got sick 3 days before the due date, what have you already done? Shouldn’t you just have finishing touches to do with 3 days to go?

Therefore, when you contact the teacher, you should also attach your most recent draft. You need to say:

  • This is what I’ve done;
  • This is what I had planned to do in the next 7, 6, 5, 4, or 3 days before submission;
  • This is why I’m so sick that I can’t do it.

So remember, if you’ve been sick, the two key things to include are:

  • A doctor’s note to prove it’s true;
  • Your latest draft to show you’ve not left it to the last minute.
  • A List of Late Homework Excuses
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8. There was a Death in the Family

This is the most common reason for extension requests. Let me be clear: every teacher is bamboozled that there seems to be a spike in the deaths of grandmas whenever assessments are due.

We’re skeptical about this one, to say the least.

If you’re going to use this extension excuse, evidence is a must. Teachers understand that this is a sensitive topic. I’ve accepted a range of evidence for this one, though. This includes:

  • Notice of death in the local newspaper;
  • A scan of the booklet of funeral proceedings;
  • A letter or receipt from a funeral home;
  • A copy of the flight to or from the funeral location.

This is obviously a very sensitive issue, and it’s pretty sad that people abuse this reason. Teachers don’t want to offend you: but they also need to know you’re not pulling the wool over their eyes.

Another worrisome point for this excuse is that often the death occurred a month or more before the assessment is due.

Be prepared for your teacher to say: okay, there was a death a month ago. What have you done in the month since the funeral on your work?

If you’re going to use this reason, explain how it’s caused hardship (failure to focus, busy making funeral arrangements, travel to funerals, etc.). You also must think about how you can provide clear evidence that this death did, in fact, happen.

Related: How to Ask a Professor for a Letter of Recommendation

9. You have a Learning Disability

If you have a learning disability, you need to tell your university in advance. There’s really no other way around this one.

Nearly every university these days has support plans for students with learning disabilities .

The most common one is dyslexia . This is the condition in which students struggle with accurate and speedy reading and spelling. It can make university really tough, but universities try to be accommodating for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Other common personal issues that can qualify for extensions include common migraines and issues with concentration.

Talk to a student advisor at the university about how to get a diagnosis if you think you’ve got a learning disability. Once you’ve received the diagnosis you’ll be able to get a support plan set up.

Support plans are usually sent straight to your teachers at the start of the semester. However, you should also make yourself known to your teacher at the start of the semester. There are additional benefits to this, including that your teacher will be careful not to ask you to read content out loud in class.

If you haven’t told your teacher already that you have a learning disability, but you still want an extension, you’ll need to get in touch as soon as possible.

Highlight how:

  • You have made every effort to ensure you got your work done on time;
  • Something has happened (did your migraines flare up recently?) that has prevented you from completing on time.

When you ask for the extension, include the support plan, diagnosis, or doctor’s note to increase your chances of receiving the extension that you requested.

Extensions are commonplace, but you need to state your case. We have provided an outline of exactly how to ask for the extension that you might want to consult if you think you qualify for an extension. This outline explains that you need to take some key steps, including the steps in the infographic below (plus some more!):

How to ask for an extension

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Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Good Excuses for Late Assignment Submission and Deadline Extension Requests


Two things that students dread the most and they are poor grades and handing in assignments late. The consequences of failing to submit work within the specified deadline or turning it in later than the allotted time is a common cause of worry and stress among students.

Even though you might try hard not to miss deadlines, many things can come along the way, making it inevitable. Some of these things are avoidable, such as writers block, while some, such as emergencies, disasters, or sicknesses, are unavoidable and genuine.

Professors are already wary of such eventualities and look forward to a convincing reason as to why a student failed to turn in the assignment or why they are requesting an extension.

As human as they are, teachers, teaching assistants, and professors can distinguish genuine reasons and either forgive you (avoid deducting late submission marks) or grant you a deadline extension.

Have you ever wondered what excuses you would make to get an extension or if you have submitted an assignment or turned in online homework late? You are not alone. Thousands of students write to their instructors to ask for extensions or to get pardoned for submitting assignments late.

In this guide, we take you through some of the best excuses you can use to make for not handing in your homework on time. You can incorporate them into your late submission of assignment email, deliver them in person to your professor or teacher, or write an apology letter, email, or text message for the late submission. We have professional homework helpers who can handle nearly every subject you can ever think about. If you are short of time, hire one of them for the task and see the best they can do for you; you will be amazed at their capabilities. 

Candid Excuses to Persuade Your Teacher to Accept a Late Assignment Submission

Here are some convincing reasons you can use if you fail to meet a submission deadline for an assignment and either want an extension or want it to be accepted and graded unconditionally.

1. The truth will set you Free!

The best excuse for submitting an assignment late is to tell your instructor or teacher the truth. It would help if you were bold enough to let your teacher or the professor know why you really want additional time or why you turned in an assignment late.

If, for instance, you were just lazy or had so many things happening in your life, sharing your genuine concerns with the professor will earn you more time.

Sweep the teacher off their feet by telling them the truth about the assignment. Maybe you never understood it until the last minute, or you were caught up with other assignments and could not balance your time, family, and assignments.

Nobody predicts crime around them. There are instances when exposure to robbery can shatter us down.

You can be so shaken that you can't do anything. If you were a robbery victim or witness, your professor could genuinely understand and extend the deadline.

Maybe during the robbery, your backpack, phone, or laptop was snatched; explaining to your professor earns your trust and more time to complete the assignment and hand it in for marking.

3. Push the blame on a social loafer in your group

Some people are just lazy when they are part of a group. If a member of your group never did their part, which yours was dependent upon, you can share with the teacher and get an extension or pardon for submitting part of the group assignment late. Group assessments are always a tough call.

One member might be lazy or do the wrong thing altogether, which all of you realize when it is too late. The truth is that teachers know what goes in the groups, and sometimes they give such assignments to test your team or group skills.

Such skills are essential and determine your survival in the job market. Sharing your challenge means you are bold enough to accept failure and take necessary remedies.

4. Sickness

You cannot predict when you get sick; even the healthiest people suddenly fall ill out of the blues. You can tell the teacher, " I'm sorry, but I fell ill yesterday and could not do much on the assignment.

I need more time ." Any teacher will accept this excuse as it shows your resilience, determination, and readiness to learn and how much you value your school work, even in the face of sickness.

Show that you need an extension to complete just a little bit and work on your paper as though it is your last chance at life.

Besides, if you are handing it in late, your teacher will sympathize with you for persevering through sickness to complete the assignment, albeit late.

5. That time of the month, Argh!

Suppose you are a lady; lucky you! But for boys, stay out of this unless you want more trouble with your teacher. You can excuse yourself for submitting an assignment late or asking for an extension blaming your lateness on menstruation.

Male and some female teachers might buy into this excuse, but you must show reasons for it. You can say your cramps were painful, and you could not persevere.

Of course, you will be given an extension or your late assignment accepted because this is a natural process that every lady goes through, and the experience is different from person to person.

6. You lost your pet

People are attached to their pets: dogs, cats, salamanders, iguanas, snakes, spiders, etc. They play a role in our lives anyway.

Losing a pet can make you frustrated, alone, and demoralized, especially if it has meaning in your life. Although this is a rare excuse, pulling it to your teacher can work magic.

It will work unless your teacher is heartless or disentangled with life matters, which most are not. Your pet is a companion or the best friend of your life, and losing them can demoralize your spirit.

7. Your roommate fell ill

If you have a roommate, you can tell your professor that you are submitting an assignment late because your roommate fell ill. You had to take care of them or drive them to the hospital for urgent care.

As caring and empathetic as we teachers are, you will always win our hearts with this excuse on two fronts. One is that you are a loving soul, and two is that you are determined to work hard on your paper despite adversities.

It will be an extension for you, or a pardon for lateness will be granted.

8. Other assignments

You can blame lateness or ask for deadline extensions claiming that you have other homework or due papers. In an age where assignments swarm you, your professor will most likely buy into your story and grant your wishes and desires.

Inform the teacher early enough of the possibility of getting a deadline extension or that you will submit an assignment late. Do not let assignments bog you down.

Are you running late with your essays, research papers, and other assignments? What if we told you we could help you? We are a leading assignments help website at your service and ready to do your papers at affordable rates.

9. Late response from the teacher/professor

You can also blame lateness in submitting an assignment because your professor got back to you late.

Teachers are busy and sometimes forget to read and respond to emails. Woe unto you if your email for instruction clarification is among them.

If your professor responded or clarified the instructions late, you can use that as a yardstick to get your assignment deadline extension or acceptance of your already late assignment.

10. Blame it on domestic violence

If you had a fight with your partner or your parents got into a fight, it is an excuse for a deadline extension or to turn in an assignment late.

You can tell your professor that the commotion and subsequent events- cops, neighbors, and other family members- derailed you from doing the assignment.

Besides, who can concentrate in such environments? Not even your professor can imagine doing assignments after such ordeal. If it is a parent, include their contacts so your professor can reach out. If it were your partner, you must come with a police report.

Trust us on this; such encounters will earn you some sympathy, and your teacher will handle you gently going forward. Instead of punishing you, in addition to accepting late submissions by extending your deadline, they will refer you to a counselor for therapy sessions.

11. Natural Disaster

If your area is experiencing a natural disaster such as an earthquake, tremor, hurricane, wildfire, or flooding, you can use that as an excuse for not turning in your assignment on time and ask for an extension.

Such events devastate people, property, and infrastructure, and your professor or teacher will be willing to sympathize with you and add more time.

12. Accidents

You can claim that you were involved in an accident and get a deadline extension or pardon for a late submission.

For instance, you can say you were cycling home when you had a bad crash with your bike that caused you so much pain that you could not concentrate on your paper.

Maybe your apartment caught fire, and you had to be evacuated until the fire went off, and you did not have much time left to accomplish the assignment deadline.

A car crash could also have shattered your inner peace and concentration, making you forget an assignment. Any minor accident (spraining a leg, falling on the staircase, or cutting your finger when cooking) or major (fire, car accident, bike crash, etc.), suffices as an excuse for turning in your assignment late.

13. Learning Disability

Nobody will beat you or punish you for your learning disability and for expressing yourself. If they do, such would only amount to discrimination, which is punishable by law. Your university or college admin has to know in advance that you have a learning disability.

Universities and colleges have structures and systems to support students with learning disabilities. You can use this excuse if you tried to meet a deadline but missed it.

Maybe you have dyslexia, meaning that you struggle with spelling and reading. If this is the case, write to your professor that even though you tried, the deadline was so close, and you need more time.

14. Grieving with a friend

If your close friend lost a relative or someone close to them, you could excuse yourself from an assignment deadline by telling your professor that you were grieving with them. You will come out as a considerate, caring, and sweet soul that everybody needs as a friend.

Your teacher will give you a few hours or days to accomplish the assignment unconditionally. You can then handle the assignment quickly and hand it in for grading like the other students.

15. Losing a Family Member

Losing a family member such as your grandma, father, brother, or sister is devastating. During the COVID-19 pandemic, as families tore apart, so did the morale to live life to the fullest.

Your teacher, who has compassion, empathy, and emotional intelligence, will understand the weight of losing a family member and direct you to the relevant professionals, such as counselors, for assistance.

Despite the worst encounter, you will get an unconditional deadline extension and pardon for submitting an assignment.

16. You were called in for an extra shift

You can convince your teacher to more time or accept an already late assignment by explaining that you were called in for an extra shift at work. You could be covering for a colleague who could not make it to their shift due to unavoidable issues.

When your teacher learns about this, they will pardon you because you have shown employability skills - going the extra mile for an organization.

This works well for student nurses who combine work and already intensive studies, and it can also work for any student pursuing any course.

Tell your teacher you could not afford to miss that extra shift to earn extra money to support yourself. Make it clear that you are not seeking sympathy but are being realistic given uncertain economic times.

17. You were out of town for the weekend

This extension excuse has to be very genuine. If you went out of town, you can tell your professor that you had anticipated doing the assignment but found out that network coverage was poor, or you forgot your laptop in your apartment and could not access the instructions remotely. Any teacher who senses genuineness in your request will grant you your wishes unconditionally.

18. You were volunteering

Teachers make a lot of observations apart from teaching. When assigned a paper but a volunteering opportunity comes up, and you grab it, it shows how caring you are to other people. You can claim that you needed the experience to build up your CV or to assist those in need within your community. Asking for more time or a late submission with proof that you volunteered can earn you a lot of respect from your teacher.

19. I forgot the upcoming deadline

If you are truthful in saying that you forgot about a deadline, explain why you might buy more time and complete the paper or accept the already late paper unconditionally.

Be frank and straight up with the teacher and tell them that you had other stuff in your life and did not notice that the deadline was fast approaching.

20. Your computer acted up

Technology came as a savior of humankind on many fronts, but it can also be a source of our frustrations.

Saying your computer broke down will probably sound like a lie in a world where you can borrow from a friend or access computers everywhere.

If you want to win with this excuse, provide evidence and show why you could not borrow a computer (privacy, fear of the unknown, or nobody to borrow one from). You can give evidence that you have been to a repair shop, visited the library to use the computers but were chased out during closing hours, or provide photo evidence of the broken computer.

21. A Job Interview

Scavenging on any opportunity to earn extra bucks is commendable as a student; it shows you are independent. It is primal to fend for ourselves and meet our needs. You can say that you attended a recruitment drive, and the interview coincided with the assignment deadline. You will be excused for late submission or given more time to complete your essay or research paper.

22. Writer's Block

You can only demonstrate that your excuse is genuine if you are honest. You can tell your teacher that despite trying everything to avoid being late, your knack for creativity didn't click in on time, and you need extra time to put your house in order and complete the assignment. With so much running in our minds in the fast-paced world, you can research and read well but fail to sit down and write the perfect paper. When this occurs, ask for an extension or let your professor know why you are submitting a paper later than the deadline.

23. You hand a Birthday Party

Celebrating yourself is a form of self-care. If you had a birthday and needed time to be with your friends and family or were surprised by friends and could not turn it down, you have to tell your teacher. They will be human enough to allow you more time or accept your late assignment unconditionally unless they are narcissistic.

If you are a TikTok fan, you can check some of the homework excuse reels to get your ribs cracked.

Tips to Avoid Punitive Measures when running late with Assignments

If you notice that you will be late with an assignment (violate a deadline), you should write a late submission request letter. Otherwise, there are dire consequences. Failing to notify your teacher or professor could lead to deduction of the entire grade (an F grade), a partial deduction of a percentage of the whole grade (usually 5-10% depending on the institution), retaking or repeating the entire course(unit), or other measures that are not friendly either. To avoid such, here are some tips:

  • Email your teacher, instructor, or professor to let them know you need an extension or will submit an assignment late.
  • Accept the responsibility of submitting the assignment late but ask for a fair chance of hearing your excuse for not meeting the deadline.
  • Assure your professor or instructor that it will never happen again.
  • Call your teacher or professor and convince them to grant you more time or accept the late paper. You can let your parent or guardian do the same so that the professor sees the genuineness of your request.
  • Talk to your teacher or professor early enough so they don't misjudge your request if you are late.
  • Avoid being late always. Only submit a late paper if you must. Otherwise, using an assignment help website such as ours will save you from being labeled as the ever-late student and facing the consequences, which can be dire.

What next! Write that Email to Professor

There is a trail of reasons you can ask for acceptance of a late assignment. You should not be worried or stressed, yet there is an easy way out of missing deadlines.

Many high school, college, and university, even graduate students, have good excuses for not meeting submission deadlines.

When expressing your concerns, you can do so through an apology letter, email, text message, or message on Blackboard or Canvas (student course portal). Here is a format you can use to frame your email or messages.

Here is a sample email template that can help you know how to ask a professor or teacher to accept a late assignment.

Dear Sir/Madam, I sincerely apologize for violating the submission deadline for this assignment. Even though I tried my best to deliver on the due date (enter the due date and time), I could not do so because [ enter your reason/ excuse for lateness and expand on it a few sentences ] I sincerely apologize for this and ask for your pardon (or extension). {I assure you that I will submit the paper within [ amount of time you want ].} use this if asking for an extension. I am severely sorry for the inconvenience this situation might have caused you given your busy schedule, and I promise that this will never happen again. I look forward to your positive response and consideration. Sincerely yours, Your Name

Parting Shot!

Late submission costs 5% of the total marks allotted for your assignment, essay, or paper in most colleges and universities. Some professors are rigorous that each extra day attracts a deduction, and after a while, they might equally fail to accept your assignment and give you an F.

If you are running short of time and need an extension, use the above excuses to convince your teacher to give you more time. These excuses are also a perfect currency for submitting an assignment late, and you can incorporate them into your late submission apology email and win the heart of your teacher/instructor for unconditional acceptance and grading of the late paper.

We strongly advise that you avoid late submissions, and our services allow you to order assignment help and complete them within your deadline. You set the deadlines before the actual deadline, and we believe it is a potent weapon many students and probably your classmates are using to meet deadlines. Please place an order today and get instant assistance from our experts, who are online 24/7.

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15 Best Excuses for Late Assignments

After a tough day at school, having a good number of assignments to complete is not a pleasant experience. However, if you ignore it, you risk getting into problems if you don’t have valid justifications. It would be best if you thought of good explanations to persuade your instructor to award you a pass rather than settle for a zero.

Frequently, failure to complete assignments on time is the consequence of being negligent. However, there are true instances where students cannot complete their work before the deadline. Nevertheless, whether the reason you want to give is legitimate or not, there is a need for the excuse to sound and feel convincing.

This article has prepared the 15 best excuses for late assignments. Read on and learn the tricks to keep you out of trouble with your teachers and help you have a smooth stay at school.

The Occurrence of an Illness

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One of the oldest but still among the best excuses for skipping assignments is being ill. One may make up a 24-hour illness, food poisoning, or show up to class appearing sickly with a fever from the previous night. Most educators are fairly considerate, particularly when the excuse seems sincere. As a result, you may not only be spared from submitting your homework, but you might also win some compassion.

Death of a Family Member

It’s absurd to pretend that a relative has died. Unless you need to keep your grades, that is. Even the brightest individuals would then give it some thought. Ultimately, the teacher won’t ever know if you were lying. This is unless they are friends with your mother and plan to attend the burial.

Also see: What happens when I submit my assignment late? 

Some learners are experts at coming up with this defence. They frequently mention the passing of a grandparent, distant uncle, or aunt. Nevertheless, please be mindful not to abuse this excuse if you choose to use it.

Faking Periods

This is the ideal justification for female students. It works remarkably well with male tutors. They will be so uneasy and sad for you, and they might be forced to extend the deadline for your assignment submission.

Remember, do not even attempt to use this excuse if you are a male student. You will have more issues than not doing the schoolwork as a result.

Hindrance from a Technological Failure

The simplest and most plausible defence is to blame technology. You can cite any issues, such as a broken printer, a crashed laptop, or a disrupted internet connection. The majority of people, including your teacher, have encountered difficulties as a result of technology flaws.

This is a wonderful explanation if you have a document that needed to be typed and printed. Similarly, if you had to complete your assignment online, it might also be effective.

Forgetting the Assignment Notebook

You will receive a lecture about the risks of being irresponsible for using this argument, but you may get away with not turning in your work. It works best if this is your first instance of missing the deadline for submitting your homework.

Ensure, though, that this doesn’t end up being the excuse you typically employ. If not, the instructor can disregard your explanation and award you a dismal zero.

Failure to Understand the Assignment

In contrast to essays, this rationale is more effective for assignments that consist of questions, arithmetic, or science. However, if the assignment requires you to write extensively, you can still get away with it. This is if you only explain that you struggled to understand what the professor expected you to write about.

A Sibling Messing with the Assignment

The excuse of a younger sibling messing with your notebook is a good one, though not so convincing. They may have chosen your notebook to play with without realizing how essential it might be. This means that even if your teacher may correct you for being irresponsible, you will ultimately avoid being punished for your unfinished assignment.

Absenteeism on the Assignment Issuance Date

You could not complete the assignment if you weren’t aware of it. This excuse is a good one when the teacher delegated the task, but you were not made aware of it because you were away.

Yet again, you would need the support of your peers. If that doesn’t work, solicit your parents to write a note outlining why you were missing that day.

Obstruction from the Death of a Pet

This justification is rarely utilized since some teachers could not understand the value of pets. But it works, particularly if your instructor owns a dog or a cat. The only teacher who wouldn’t give you any leeway for mourning your best friend is a ruthless one.

Babysitting a Younger Sibling

You may have duties at home if you are an elder brother or sister. One of them might be looking after a younger sibling, particularly if your parents are working. This is a reasonable rationale because babysitting a younger sibling makes concentrating difficult.

Too Much Homework from Another Class

It’s a fact that sometimes you’ll have a lot of homework from various teachers. When you get home, you won’t know which to focus on and which to ignore.

Select a lecturer who has a reputation for being understanding if this is the reality. Suppose you can demonstrate that you actually began working on your assignment but could not complete it. In that case, there is a decent possibility they will consider your request and grant you an extension.

Hindrance from Volunteering or Co-Curricular Activities

Claiming you couldn’t complete an assignment because you were serving others would be a solid bet if you wanted to enhance your humanitarian, moral responsibility image. An excellent justification might include helping at the neighborhood clinic, cleaning the streets, or performing other noble deeds. Another acceptable justification is participation in extracurricular activities like school debates, sports, choir practice, or other school-related endeavors.

Interference from Family-Related Conflicts

It can be pretty stressful to have parents who fight often. Focusing on your assignments can be difficult while arguments or physical fights are going on, and sometimes it is preferable to ignore them or get some rest by going to sleep.

Teachers are aware that not every student has ideal circumstances at home. If you are telling the truth, you won’t likely suffer any repercussions for using this explanation.

Forgetting About the Homework

This excuse might not be the best because your teacher may label you as not serious. Nevertheless, it is worth trying, especially when it is really the case. Here, it would be ideal if everyone in the class, or at least most of your peers, cite the same reason.

Telling the Truth

As fantastic as it is to make up an excuse for missing schoolwork and get away with it, there are occasions when being honest is preferable. Some instructors will allow you more time to complete your assignment in addition to applauding and understanding your sincerity.

As promised, this article has covered the 15 best excuses for late assignments. Above all other considerations, it’s crucial to put out your best effort and complete your assignment by the due date. It is preferable to submit the work on time rather than wasting time, effort, and strain trying to find the ideal explanation.

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10+ Best Excuses for Late Assignments

by William Christie · January 9, 2023

Not being able to submit the assignment is a common issue. Although some student who faces the problem may have real issues like family problems, or health issues facing any unwanted incident some students are careless. They intentionally don’t submit the assignment and then make excuses for not being able to submit it. If you have exceeded the time limit for your assignment submission, you must know the excuses a student can give for late submitting the assignment.

Quick Takeaways The most common excuse you can give for late assignment submission is – 1. Health issue 2. Family issue 3. Other paper 4. Job interview 5. Not able to understand or learning issues 6. Losing  a family member 7. Taking care of a member of the family

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of the excuses that you make for late assignment submissions.

10+ Best Excuses for Late Assignments

Table of Contents

What are the common Excuses for late assignments?

The common and leading excuses for submitting late assignments are as follows:

1. Health issue:

This reason is a natural thing that happens and the student is not able to avoid this situation . Suffering from an illness will make the student weak physically and mentally too resulting in not being able to complete the assignment on time. While giving this reason mostly the teacher asks for the details of the prescription. If the professor finds it valid he/she may give the concession in marks deduction or give you more time to complete and submit the assignment.

2. Family issue:

Many families are suffering from domestic fights and due to this, the student is not able to do the assignment as they suffer from mental issues . This reason is understood by the teacher also and they also help and guide the student in solving the issue. If you are a kindergarten teacher you may have to take care of such situations more.

3. Other paper:

If the student has another paper also at the same time as completing the assignment so the student can request the professor to give the solution and will help out the student. The student can also ask for help by mailing the professor.

10+ Best Excuses for Late Assignments

4. Job interview:

The student can request the professor by mailing as the student will not be able to shift the interview but if they apply to the professor for giving them time to complete the assignment. The professor will always help the student for not being able to complete the assignment and not submitting it.

5. Not able to understand or learning issues:

Not all students are the same according to their mental condition, Some students are not able to learn quickly and they need extra time with extra guidance from the professor so this makes the student not complete the assignment on time. If the professor helps the student they can understand the topic and write the assignment quickly and on time.

6. Losing  a family member:

If the student loses any family member in the house, it may cause a distraction to the student in studying and completing the assignment. as the professor needs to listen to the student and help them out and take this reason seriously. The professor will help and guide the student to complete the assignment on time.

7. Taking care of a member of the family:

If the student is taking care of a person in the family who is ill or has a baby in an unwanted situation the whole day. In this case, you need to request the professor earlier and let the professor give the solution. This is a strong reason for late submitting the assignment.

What are the common Excuses for late online assignments?

Following are the excuses for late online assignments-

10+ Best Excuses for Late Assignments

1. The problem with computers:

The student can fail the submission of an assignment when there is a technical issue in the computer and is not able to work properly but for this reason, the student needs to show the receipt to the computer technician.

2. Wifi or network issue:

While for the online submission of the assignment the student needs to have good internet or wifi . But there are many places where there is a network issue due to which the student may not be able to submit the assignment and it causes a lot of difficulties.

3. Different levels of understanding:

In an institution, there are different levels of the student, some are quick learners and some are slow learners. Hence the slow learner needs more time to understand the assignment and complete it on time. So the student should start the assignment early as soon as possible and get concerned from the professor if there is any confusion in the assignment.

4. Health issue:

The student can fail to submit the assignment or give the assignment late as per any health issue the student. So, the student needs to show the prescription suggested by the doctor to the professor so that the in-charge teacher does not think the student has not done the assignment intentionally.

5. Paper issue:

As if the timing of other courses clashes with the submission making it difficult for the Student to complete the assignment on time. The student should request the professor early only so that the teacher finds the issue genuine and give them some time to the student for completing it.

Usually, you will have to mail your professor about the reason for not being able to submit it on time. But you may not get a reply from the professors and thus you must try to get in contact with them during the class.

What should a student do when submitting a late paper?

10+ Best Excuses for Late Assignments

The student should always try to complete the assignment even if it is late for submission. They should try not to miss their assignments . Getting some penalty is rather good than zero marks and creates a bad image of themselves before a professor.

  • The student should tell the in-charged teacher that he/she would not be able to submit the assignment on time. If the professor finds the request genuine and doesn’t think the student is lazy. the teacher will find it good that the student has come up with the problem.
  • If it is not possible to tell the teacher by meeting with them the student will explain nicely what was the issue for not being able to submit the assignment on time.
  • The student who can’t tell the teacher by meeting them can send an email for applying for the late submission of the assignment with a valid reason why the student was not able to submit it. You must also thank the professor at the end of the email.
  • If you were really having a serious issue then your teacher must accept your late homework submission.


The student should always try to complete the assignment on time. In case there is a genuine problem they should talk to the teacher before and make them understand and the teacher will let them out. You may give them reasons like health and family issues only if they are actually true.

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I Forgot to Submit my Assignment: Here are 6 things to do

  • by Joseph Kenas
  • November 21, 2023

Forgetting to Submit Your Assignment

Forgetting to submit assignments is common in schools today due to many preoccupations affecting the students. In this guide, we will explain the options you have if you forget to submit your homework in order to avoid the effects of tardiness.

Sometimes, it is possible to just forget to hand in your homework or submit your essays and papers. Some schools have no leniency to entertain any lateness. However, some students have to try their best when they get late. Here is what to do.

What to Do If You Forgot to Submit Your Assignment

1. submit it anyway.

If you are done with the assignment, and you forgot to submit it, submitting it as soon as possible is the best option you have. The more you keep delaying with it, the more the chances of your assignment not being accepted increase.

Submitting it a few hours after the deadline can make the instructor understand any excuses for late assignments you give other than submitting it days after the deadline passed.

2. Alert the Professor of the Lateness

The best thing to do if you forget to submit your assignment is to alert the professor. He or she sets the deadline and requires you to follow it.

Alert the professor immediately after you realize you missed the deadline, and make sure you give reasons for the deadline miss.

Submitting an assignment without the consent of the professor can decrease the chances of the assignment getting accepted.

Contacting the professor through email is the best way of alerting the professor that you missed the deadline. The email should be short and straight to the point. Read my guide on this and see the late assignment email examples that I provided on that post.

Polite language should be used when writing the email. Use the full name of the professor and words such as “dear” at the beginning and a complimentary close at the end, such as “sincerely.”

3. Request an Extension

This varies from one institution to the other. One will always have to provide proper reasons as to why they need an extension.


In some schools, all you have to do is write to the professor explaining why you need an extension.

The discretion lies with the professor. In other institutions, you will have to write to the examination body to request an extension.

This body then analyses your reasons as to why you need the extension.

They decide whether you deserve it or not and then communicate with your professor on the decision made.

Before requesting an extension, apologize for your lateness. Try to show that you regret not being able to submit your paper on time. 

4. Giving Excuses

Whenever your assignment is late, you will have to give proper excuses as to why it is late. Good excuses can easily get you off the hook.

Unavoidable events and conditions such as illnesses can be good excuses as to why you forgot to submit your assignment.

Every excuse must be backed up with evidence to make it look true. Illness, for example, should be supported by doctor reports showing the days that you were attended to and the severity or type of illness that you had.

In most institutions, the examination body is tasked with determining whether the excuses are genuine or not. 

5. Take responsibility for the lateness

Deadlines are always established by professors for a reason. Professors hate it when students don’t take deadlines seriously because the older the students get, the more responsible they become.

Always take responsibility for missing the deadline and do your best to resolve the problem.

Avoid blame games. Teachers or your institution are not responsible for your lack of time or opportunity to beat deadlines. Always present yourself as a mature person, aware that studying is a major responsibility. 

6. Submit the Assignment Late

They say better late than never. Even if your assignment will be late, always put an effort to make sure that you complete and submit it. You can get lucky and get partial crediting for your work for submitting your assignment after a deadline.

This is better than getting a zero for not submitting the assignment just because you thought that your work will not be accepted.

Always remember you have nothing to lose and finish the assignment. Some professors can be understanding and even accept to mark your work. Don’t accept to fail just because you have not used your chance.

Reasons for Late Assignment Submissions

Mixing up the deadline date.

Students who did not get the deadline dates correctly are likely to submit their assignments late. This can work as a brilliant excuse sometimes if several students miss the deadline due to the same.

If you are the only student in your class who didn’t get the deadline correctly, you are likely to be punished. This can be avoided by being attentive when the instructor is giving deadlines.

Asking other students and the instructor about the deadline if you did not get it correctly can also help meet it. 

Family Emergencies

These also can lead to late assignment submissions. Family emergencies include all the unexpected events that affect the health and safety of your family.

Doing assignment

These include accidents and other unavoidable events. Students whose parents are sick can lack enough time to concentrate on assignments while attending to their ill parents.

When the babysitter fails to show up, and the student has to look after his siblings, he or she may not get enough time to do assignments.

These reasons work as proper excuses in school, and one can get an extension to finish the assignment.

Power Outage

When you complete an assignment early, do not wait for the eve of the deadline or the deadline day to print it. Print it immediately after you are done doing it.

When there is no power to type and print the assignment when hardcopies are needed, then the student is likely to miss the deadline. This reason works as a good excuse for assignments with short deadlines. It may or not work in assignments with long deadlines.

Personal Illness

It is hard for students feeling unwell to finish their assignments before the deadline day. Illness is an unforeseen circumstance, and students can’t control it.

It is good to inform your professor that you are ill and won’t meet the deadline before the deadline is reached. Ensure that you provide evidence from the doctor when you do back to school as proof that you were sick.

Lost Your Glasses

Students who have eye problems can submit their assignments late if they lose their eyeglasses. They will not be able to conduct research and type the assignment. This is only applicable for short-term deadlines.

in long-term deadlines, a student is expected to find a solution to complete the assignment before the deadline. One can buy new glasses or pay for the assignment to be typed. 

Another Important Paper is Due 

A student can submit a paper late if there is another important paper that is due in the same time frame. In this case, the student has to write to the instructor and request a late submission. It is a valid reason but you must inform your instructor about the circumstances first. 

Job Interviews

If a student has a job interview that is related to the area of study they specialize in, he or she can submit an assignment late.

One may spend a lot of time preparing for the interview and lose concentration on the assignment in the process. Informing your instructor about this can get you permission for the submission of late work.

Effects of Late Assignment Submissions

Poor grades .

Assignment Submission

Many institutions are usually very serious when it comes to assignment deadlines.

Some institutions will mark the work, but a percentage of the total marks will be deducted.

Instructors are usually instructed not to accept late work. In this case, the students get a zero.

Students mostly fail in these assignments hence contributing to poor grades overall.

Lack of Fairness

Institutions that accept late assignments from students create a feeling of unfairness among the students.

Those students who hurried up and did the assignment limiting themselves to beat the deadline, will feel that they have been treated unfairly if some students get their deadlines extended. Not accepting late work creates a fairground for all the students in the class. 

Undermines Course Pacing

Late assignments will not help in cases where students need to cover a lot of work in very little time. Even a day or two missed in these circumstances is a big loss. Once a student gets late with the assignment, catching up becomes very hard.

Instructors are forced to set deadlines that all the students must adhere to. Students who can’t cope with course pacing because of submitting late assignments are likely to be kicked out of class. 

Promotes Laziness

When students are allowed to submit their assignments late, the sense and responsibility of finishing assignments on time are reduced.

Students will submit assignments whenever they want to know that they can give excuses for late homework submission and get their assignments accepted by the instructor.

Schools should always strive to prepare students for the outside world. When schools train students that submitting late assignments is right, they are not preparing them well for the real world.

There are situations in real life, such as job interviews, that cannot be postponed. Therefore, to instill this value, it makes sense to penalize students for late homework so that they can learn.

Even in higher learning levels such as master’s and Ph.D. programs, late submissions are not allowed because professors at this level are very busy and try to avoid inconveniences as much as possible.

excuses to submitting late assignments

Joseph is a freelance journalist and a part-time writer with a particular interest in the gig economy. He writes about schooling, college life, and changing trends in education. When not writing, Joseph is hiking or playing chess.

A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work

August 4, 2019

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Most of my 9-week grading periods ended the same way: Me and one or two students, sitting in my quiet, empty classroom together, with me sitting at the computer, the students nearby in desks, methodically working through piles of make-up assignments. They would be focused, more focused than I’d seen them in months, and the speed with which they got through the piles was stunning. 

As they finished each assignment I took it, checked it for accuracy, then entered their scores—taking 50 percent off for being late—into my grading program. With every entry, I’d watch as their class grade went up and up: from a 37 percent to a 41, then to 45, then to 51, and eventually to something in the 60s or even low 70s, a number that constituted passing, at which point the process would end and we’d part ways, full of resolve that next marking period would be different.

And the whole time I thought to myself, This is pointless . They aren’t learning anything at all. But I wasn’t sure what else to do.

For as long as teachers have assigned tasks in exchange for grades, late work has been a problem. What do we do when a student turns in work late? Do we give some kind of consequence or accept assignments at any time with no penalty? Do we set up some kind of system that keeps students motivated while still holding them accountable? Is there a way to manage all of this without driving ourselves crazy?

To find answers, I went to Twitter and asked teachers to share what works for them. What follows is a summary of their responses. I wish I could give individual credit to each person who offered ideas, but that would take way too long, and I really want you to get these suggestions now! If you’ve been unsatisfied with your own approach to late work, you should find some fresh ideas here.

First, a Few Questions About Your Grades

Before we get into the ways teachers manage late work, let’s back up a bit and consider whether your overall program of assignments and grading is in a healthy place. Here are some questions to think about:  

  • What do your grades represent? How much of your grades are truly based on academic growth, and how much are based mostly on compliance? If they lean more toward compliance, then what you’re doing when you try to manage late work is basically a lot of administrative paper pushing, rather than teaching your content. Although it’s important for kids to learn how to manage deadlines, do you really want an A in your course to primarily reflect the ability to follow instructions? If your grades are too compliance-based, consider how you might shift things so they more accurately represent learning. (For a deeper discussion of this issue, read How Accurate Are Your Grades? )
  • Are you grading too many things? If you spend a lot of time chasing down missing assignments in order to get more scores in your gradebook, it could be that you’re grading too much. Some teachers only enter grades for major, summative tasks, like projects, major writing assignments, or exams. Everything else is considered formative and is either ungraded or given a very low point value for completion, not graded for accuracy; it’s practice . For teachers who are used to collecting lots of grades over a marking period, this will be a big shift, and if you work in a school where you’re expected to enter grades into your system frequently, that shift will be even more difficult. Convincing your students that ungraded practice is worthwhile because it will help their performance on the big things will be another hurdle. With all of that said, reducing the number of scored items will make your grades more meaningful and cut way down on the time you spend grading and managing late work.
  • What assumptions do you make when students don’t turn in work? I’m embarrassed to admit that when I first started teaching, I assumed most students with missing work were just unmotivated. Although this might be true for a small portion of students, I no longer see this as the most likely reason. Students may have issues with executive function and could use some help developing systems for managing their time and responsibilities. They may struggle with anxiety. Or they may not have the resources—like time, space, and technology—to consistently complete work at home. More attention has been paid lately to the fact that homework is an equity issue , and our policies around homework should reflect an understanding that all students don’t have access to the same resources once they leave school for the day. Punitive policies that are meant to “motivate” students don’t take any of these other issues into consideration, so if your late work penalties don’t seem to be working, it’s likely that the root cause is something other than a lack of motivation.
  • What kind of grading system is realistic for you ? Any system you put in place requires YOU to stay on top of grading. It would be much harder to assign penalties, send home reminders, or track lateness if you are behind on marking papers by a week, two weeks, even a month. So whatever you do, create a plan that you can actually keep up with.

Possible Solutions

1. penalties.

Many teachers give some sort of penalty to students for late work. The thinking behind this is that without some sort of negative consequence, too many students would wait until the end of the marking period to turn work in, or in some cases, not turn it in at all. When work is turned in weeks or even months late, it can lose its value as a learning opportunity because it is no longer aligned with what’s happening in class. On top of that, teachers can end up with massive piles of assignments to grade in the last few days of a marking period. This not only places a heavy burden on teachers, it is far from an ideal condition for giving students the good quality feedback they should be getting on these assignments.

Several types of penalties are most common:

Point Deductions In many cases, teachers simply reduce the grade as a result of the lateness. Some teachers will take off a certain number of points per day until they reach a cutoff date after which the work will no longer be accepted. One teacher who responded said he takes off 10 percent for up to three days late, then 30 percent for work submitted up to a week late; he says most students turn their work in before the first three days are over. Others have a standard amount that comes off for any late work (like 10 percent), regardless of when it is turned in. This policy still rewards students for on-time work without completely de-motivating those who are late, builds in some accountability for lateness, and prevents the teacher from having to do a lot of mathematical juggling with a more complex system. 

Parent Contact Some teachers keep track of late work and contact parents if it is not turned in. This treats the late work as more of a conduct issue; the parent contact may be in addition to or instead of taking points away. 

No Feedback, No Re-Dos The real value of homework and other smaller assignments should be the opportunity for feedback: Students do an assignment, they get timely teacher feedback, and they use that feedback to improve. In many cases, teachers allow students to re-do and resubmit assignments based on that feedback. So a logical consequence of late work could be the loss of that opportunity: Several teachers mentioned that their policy is to accept late work for full credit, but only students who submit work on time will receive feedback or the chance to re-do it for a higher grade. Those who hand in late work must accept whatever score they get the first time around. 

2. A Separate Work Habits Grade

In a lot of schools, especially those that use standards-based grading, a student’s grade on an assignment is a pure representation of their academic mastery; it does not reflect compliance in any way. So in these classrooms, if a student turns in good work, it’s going to get a good grade even if it’s handed in a month late. 

But students still need to learn how to manage their time. For that reason, many schools assign a separate grade for work habits. This might measure factors like adherence to deadlines, neatness, and following non-academic guidelines like font sizes or using the correct heading on a paper. 

  • Although most teachers whose schools use this type of system will admit that students and parents don’t take the work habits grade as seriously as the academic grade, they report being satisfied that student grades only reflect mastery of the content.
  • One school calls their work habits grade a “behavior” grade, and although it doesn’t impact GPA, students who don’t have a certain behavior grade can’t make honor roll, despite their actual GPA.
  • Several teachers mentioned looking for patterns and using the separate grade as a basis for conferences with parents, counselors, or other stakeholders. For most students, there’s probably a strong correlation between work habits and academic achievement, so separating the two could help students see that connection.
  • Some learning management systems will flag assignments as late without necessarily taking points off. Although this does not automatically translate to a work habits grade, it indicates the lateness to students and parents without misrepresenting the academic achievement.

3. Homework Passes

Because things happen in real life that can throw anyone off course every now and then, some teachers offer passes students can use to replace a missed assignment.

  • Most teachers only offer these passes to replace low-point assignments, not major ones, and they generally only offer 1 to 3 passes per marking period. Homework passes can usually only recover 5 to 10 percent of a student’s overall course grade. 
  • Other teachers have a policy of allowing students to drop one or two of their lowest scores in the gradebook. Again, this is typically done for smaller assignments and has the same net effect as a homework pass by allowing everyone to have a bad day or two.
  • One teacher gives “Next Class Passes” which allow students one extra day to turn in work. At the end of every marking period she gives extra credit points to students who still have unused passes. She says that since she started doing this, she has had the lowest rate ever of late work. 

4. Extension Requests

Quite a few teachers require students to submit a written request for a deadline extension rather than taking points off. With a system like this, every student turns something in on the due date, whether it’s the assignment itself or an extension request.

  • Most extension requests ask students to explain why they were unable to complete the assignment on time. This not only gives the students a chance to reflect on their habits, it also invites the teacher to help students solve larger problems that might be getting in the way of their academic success. 
  • Having students submit their requests via Google Forms reduces the need for paper and routes all requests to a single spreadsheet, which makes it easier for teachers to keep track of work that is late or needs to be regraded.  
  • Other teachers use a similar system for times when students want to resubmit work for a new grade. 

5. Floating Deadlines

Rather than choosing a single deadline for an assignment, some teachers assign a range of dates for students to submit work. This flexibility allows students to plan their work around other life activities and responsibilities.

  • Some teachers offer an incentive to turn in work in the early part of the time frame, such as extra credit or faster feedback, and this helps to spread out the submissions more evenly. 
  • Another variation on this approach is to assign a batch of work for a whole week and ask students to get it in by Friday. This way, students get to manage when they get it done. 
  • Other names mentioned for this strategy were flexible deadlines , soft deadlines , and due windows .

6. Let Students Submit Work in Progress

Some digital platforms, like Google Classroom, allow students to “submit” assignments while they are still working on them. This allows teachers to see how far the student has gotten and address any problems that might be coming up. If your classroom is mostly paper-based, it’s certainly possible to do this kind of thing with paper as well, letting students turn in partially completed work to demonstrate that an effort has been made and show you where they might be stuck.

7. Give Late Work Full Credit

Some teachers accept all late work with no penalty. Most of them agree that if the work is important, and if we want students to do it, we should let them hand it in whenever they get it done. 

  • Some teachers fear this approach will cause more students to stop doing the work or delay submission until the end of a marking period, but teachers who like this approach say they were surprised by how little things changed when they stopped giving penalties: Most students continued to turn work in more or less on time, and the same ones who were late under the old system were still late under the new one. The big difference was that the teacher no longer had to spend time calculating deductions or determining whether students had valid excuses; the work was simply graded for mastery.
  • To give students an incentive to actually turn the work in before the marking period is over, some teachers will put a temporary zero in the gradebook as a placeholder until the assignment is turned in, at which point the zero is replaced with a grade.
  • Here’s a twist on the “no penalty” option: Some teachers don’t take points off for late work, but they limit the time frame when students can turn it in. Some will not accept late work after they have graded and returned an assignment; at that point it would be too easy for students to copy off of the returned papers. Others will only accept late work up until the assessment for the unit, because the work leading up to that is meant to prepare for that assessment. 

8. Other Preventative Measures

These strategies aren’t necessarily a way to manage late work as much as they are meant to prevent it in the first place.

  • Include students in setting deadlines. When it comes to major assignments, have students help you determine due dates. They may have a better idea than you do about other big events that are happening and assignments that have been given in other classes.
  • Stop assigning homework. Some teachers have stopped assigning homework entirely, recognizing that disparities at home make it an unfair measurement of academic mastery. Instead, all meaningful work is done in class, where the teacher can monitor progress and give feedback as needed. Long-term projects are done in class as well, so the teacher is aware of which students need more time and why. 
  • Make homework optional or self-selected. Not all students need the same amount of practice. You may be able to get your students to assess their own need for additional practice and assign that practice to themselves. Although this may sound far-fetched, in some classes, like this self-paced classroom , it actually works, because students know they will be graded on a final assessment, they get good at determining when they need extra practice.

With so many different approaches to late work, what’s clear is that there are a lot of different schools of thought on grading and assessment, so it’s not a surprise that we don’t always land on the best solution on the first try. Experiment with different systems, talk to your colleagues, and be willing to try something new until you find something that works for you. 

Further Reading

Cover of E-Book: 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half, by Jennifer Gonzalez

20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half This free e-book is full of ideas that can help with grading in general.

excuses to submitting late assignments

On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting Thomas R. Guskey This book came highly recommended by a number of teachers.

excuses to submitting late assignments

Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School Starr Sackstein

Come back for more. Join our mailing list and get weekly tips, tools, and inspiration that will make your teaching more effective and fun. You’ll get access to our members-only library of free downloads, including 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half , the e-booklet that has helped thousands of teachers save time on grading. Over 50,000 teachers have already joined—come on in.

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excuses to submitting late assignments

Categories: Classroom Management , Instruction , Podcast

Tags: assessment , organization


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I teach high school science (mine is a course that does not have an “end of course” test so the stakes are not as high) and I teach mostly juniors and seniors. Last year I decided not to accept any late work whatsoever unless a student is absent the day it is assigned or due (or if they have an accomodation in a 504 or IEP – and I may have had one or two students with real/documented emergencies that I let turn in late.) This makes it so much easier on me because I don’t have to keep up with how many days/points to deduct – that’s a nightmare. It also forces them to be more responsible. They usually have had time to do it in class so there’s no reason for it to be late. Also, I was very frustrated with homework not being completed and I hated having to grade it and keep up with absent work. So I don’t “require” homework (and rarely assign it any more) but if students do ALL (no partial credit) of it they get a 100% (small point value grade), if they are absent or they don’t do it they are exempt. So it ends up being a sort of extra credit grade but it does not really penalize students who don’t do it. When students ask me for extra credit (which I don’t usually give), the first thing I ask is if they’ve done all the homework assigned. That usually shuts down any further discussion. I’ve decided I’m not going to spend tons of time chasing and calculating grades on small point values that do not make a big difference in an overall grade. 🙂

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Do I understand correctly….

Homework is not required. If a student fully completes the HW, they will earn full points. If the student is absent or doesn’t do it, they are excused. Students who do complete the HW will benefit a little bit in their overall grade, but students who don’t compete the work will not be penalized. Did I understand it correctly?

Do you stipulate that a student must earn a certain % on the assignment to get the full points? What about a student who completed an assignment but completes the entire thing incorrectly? Still full credit? Or an opportunity to re-do?

Thank you in advance.

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From reading this blog post I was thinking the same thing. When not penalizing students for homework do you have students who do turn it in getting extra points in class?

From what I have seen, if there is a benefit for turning in homework and students see this benefit more will try to accomplish what the homework is asking. So avoid penalization is okay, but make sure the ones turning it in are getting rewarded in some way.

The other question regarding what to do with students who may not be completing the assignments correctly, you could use this almost as a formative assessment. You could still give them the credit but use this as a time for you to focus on that student a little more and see where he/she isn’t understanding the content.

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Our school has a system called Catch Up Cafe. Students with missing work report to a specific teacher during the first 15 minutes of lunch to work on missing work. Students upgrade to a Wednesday after school time if they have accumulated 4 or more missing assignments on any Monday. They do not have to serve if they can clear ALL missing work by the end of the day Wednesday. Since work is not dragging out for a long period of time, most teachers do not take off points.

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How do you manage the logistics of who has missing and how many assignments are needed to be completed-to make sure they are attending the Catch up Cafe or Wednesday after school? How do you manage the communication with parents?

When a student has missing work it can be very difficult to see what he/she is missing. I always keep a running record of all of their assignments that quarter and if they miss that assigement I keep it blank to remind myself there was never a submission. Once I know that this student is missing this assignment I give them their own copy and write at the top late. So once they do turn it in I know that it’s late and makes grading it easier.

There are a lot of different programs that schools use but I’ve always kept a paper copy so I have a back-up.

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I find that the worst part of tracking make-up work is keeping tabs on who was absent for a school activity, illness or other excused absence, and who just didn’t turn in the assignment. I obviously have to accept work turned in “late” due to an excused absence, but I can handle the truly late work however I wish. Any advice on simplifying tracking for this?

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I tell my students to simply write “Absent (day/s)” at the top of the paper. I remind them of this fairly regularly. That way, if they were absent, it’s their responsibility to notify me, and it’s all together. If you create your own worksheets, etc., you could add a line to the top as an additional reminder.

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It might be worth checking out Evernote .

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In order to keep track of what type of missing assignments, I put a 0 in as a grade so students and parents know an assignment was never submitted. If a student was here on the due date and day assignment was given then it is a 0 in the grade book. If a student was absent the day the assignment was given or when it was due, I put a 00 in the grade book. This way I know if it was because of an absence or actual no work completed.

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This is exactly what I do. Homework can only count 10% in our district. Claims that kids fail due to zeros for homework are specious.

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This is SUCH a difficult issue and I have tried a few of the suggested ways in years past. My questions is… how do we properly prepare kids for college while still being mindful of the inequities at home? We need to be sure that we are giving kids opportunity, resources, and support, but at the same time if we don’t introduce them to some of the challenges they will be faced with in college (hours of studying and research and writing regardless of the hours you might have to spend working to pay that tuition), are we truly preparing them? I get the idea of mastery of content without penalty for late work and honestly that is typically what I go with, but I constantly struggle with this and now that I will be moving from middle to high school, I worry even more about the right way to handle late work and homework. I don’t want to hold students back in my class by being too much of a stickler about seemingly little things, but I don’t want to send them to college unprepared to experience a slap in the face, either. I don’t want to provide extra hurdles, but how do I best help them learn how to push through the hurdles and rigor if they aren’t held accountable? I always provide extra time after school, at lunch, etc., and have also experienced that end of term box checking of assignments in place of a true learning experience, but how do we teach them the importance of using resources, asking for help, allowing for mistakes while holding them to standards and learning work habits that will be helpful to them when they will be on their own? I just don’t know where the line is between helping students learn the value of good work habits and keeping them from experiencing certain challenges they need to understand in order to truly get ahead.

Thanks for sharing – I can tell how much you care for your students, wanting them to be confident independent learners. What I think I’m hearing is perhaps the struggle between that fine line of enabling and supporting. When supporting kids, whether academically or behaviorally, we’re doing something that assists or facilitates their growth. So, for example, a student that has anxiety or who doesn’t have the resources at home to complete an assignment, we can assist by giving that student extra time or an alternative place to complete the assignment. This doesn’t lower expectations, it just offers support to help them succeed.

Enabling on the other hand, puts systems in place that don’t involve consequences, which in turn allow the behaviors to continue. It involves excuses and solving problems for others. It may be about lowering expectations and letting people get by with patterns of behavior.

Late work is tricky. The article does mention the importance of time management, which is why separating academic grades from work habits is something a lot of schools are doing. Sometimes real life happens and kids need a “pass.” If whatever you’re doing seems to be helping to support a student rather than enabling patterns, then that might help you distinguish between that fine line. Hope this helps!

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Thank you again for such a great post. Always high-quality, relevant, and helpful. I so appreciate you and the work you do!

So glad to hear you enjoyed the post, Liz! I’ll make sure Jenn sees this.

I thought that these points brought up about receiving late work were extremely helpful and I hope that every classroom understands how beneficial these strategies could be.

When reading the penalties section under point deductions it brought up the idea of taking points off slowly as time goes by. Currently in my classroom the only point deduction I take off is 30% of the total grade after it is received late. No matter how much time has gone by in that grading period it will have 30% off the total.

I’m curious if changing this technique to something that would increase the percentage off as time goes by will make students turn in their work on time.

My question to everyone is which grading technique would be more beneficial for the students? Do you believe that just taking off 30% for late work would help students more when turning in their work or do you think that as time goes by penalizing their final score will have students turn in their work more?

If anyone has any answers it would be extremely beneficial.

Thank you, Kirby

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When I was in school my school did 1/3 of a grade each day it was like. So 1 day late A >A-. Two days late: A->>B+ so on and so forth. This worked really well for me because I knew that I could still receive a good grade if I worked hard on an assignment, even if it was a day or two late.

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I dread it when I have missing work or unsubmitted work. I would try to get a last-minute effort to chase those needed pieces of work which could be done from those students housed in dorms on campus. It is better than not failing them for lacking to turn in graded submissions or taking scheduled quizzes. I dread this not for the students, sadly, but for likely call to explain why I did not keep physical evidence of students’ supposed learning. In my part of the globe, we have a yearly “quality assurance” audit by the country’s educational authorities or their representatives.

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I am a pre-service teacher and I am in the process of developing my personal philosophies in education, including the topic of late work. I will be certified as a secondary social studies teacher and would like to teach in a high school. Your post brought my attention to some important insights about the subject. For example, before this post I had not thought to use feedback as a way to incentivize homework submission on time. This action coupled with the ability to re-do assignments is a great way to emphasize the importance of turning work in on time. I do have a follow-up question, how do you adequately manage grading re-do’s and feedback on all assignments? What kinds of organizational and time-management strategies do you use as a teacher? Further, how much homework do you assign when providing this as an option?

Additionally, have you administered or seen the no penalty and homework acceptance time limit in practice (for example, all homework must be turned in by the unit test)? I was curious if providing a deadline to accept all homework until the unit test may result in an access of papers I need to grade. From your experience, what practice(s) have you seen work well in the classroom?

My goal is to prepare students for life beyond high school and to support their intellectual, social, and emotional development during their high school learning experience. Similar to a previous commenter (Kate), I am also trying to define a balance between holding students accountable in order to best prepare them for their future lives and providing opportunities to raise their grade if they are willing to do the work.

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Hey Jessica, you have some great questions. I’d recommend checking out the following blog posts from Jenn that will help you learn more about keeping track of assessments, differentiation, and other aspects of grading: Kiddom: Standards-based Grading Made Wonderful , Could You Teach Without Grades , Boost Your Assessment Power with GradeCam , and Four Research-Based Strategies Every Teacher Should be Using . I hope this helps you find answers to your questions!

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Overall I found this article extremely helpful and it actually reinforced many ideas I already had about homework and deadlines. One of my favorite teachers I had in high school was always asking for our input on when we felt assignments should be due based on what extra curricular activities were taking place in a given time period. We were all extremely grateful for his consideration and worked that much harder on the given assignments.

While it is important to think about our own well-being when grading papers, I think it is just as important (if not more) to be conscious of how much work students might have in other classes or what students schedules are like outside of school. If we really want students to do their best work, we need to give them enough time to do the work. This will in turn, help them care more about the subject matter and help them dive deeper. Obviously there still needs to be deadlines, but it does not hurt to give students some autonomy and say in the classroom.

Thanks for your comment Zach. I appreciate your point about considering students’ involvement in extracurricular activities and other responsibilities they may have outside the school day. It’s definitely an important consideration. The only homework my son seemed to have in 8th grade was for his history class. I agree that there’s a need for teachers to maintain more of a balance across classes when it comes to the amount of homework they give to students.

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Thank you for an important, thought-provoking post! As a veteran teacher of 20+ years, I have some strong opinions about this topic. I have always questioned the model of ‘taking points off’ for late work. I do not see how this presents an accurate picture of what the student knows or can do. Shouldn’t he be able to prove his knowledge regardless of WHEN? Why does WHEN he shows you what he knows determine WHAT he knows?

Putting kids up against a common calendar with due dates and timelines, regardless of their ability to learn the material at the same rate is perhaps not fair. There are so many different situations facing our students – some students have challenges and difficulty with deadlines for a plethora of potential reasons, and some have nothing but support, structure, and time. When it comes to deadlines – Some students need more time. Other students may need less time. Shouldn’t all students have a chance to learn at a pace that is right for them? Shouldn’t we measure student success by demonstrations of learning instead of how much time it takes to turn in work? Shouldn’t students feel comfortable when it is time to show me what they’ve learned, and when they can demonstrate they’ve learned it, I want their grade to reflect that.

Of course we want to teach students how to manage their time. I am not advocating for a lax wishy-washy system that allows for students to ‘get to it when they get to it’. I do believe in promoting work-study habits, and using a separate system to assign a grade for responsibility, respect, management, etc is a potential solution. I understand that when introducing this type of system, it may be tough to get buy-in from parents and older students who have traditionally only looked at an academic grade because it is the only piece of the puzzle that impacts GPA. Adopting a separate work-study grading system would involve encouraging the entire school community – starting at the youngest level – to see its value. It would be crucial for the school to promote the importance of high level work-study habits right along side academic grades.

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I teach a specials course to inner city middle schoolers at a charter school. All students have to take my class since it is one of the core pillars of the school’s culture and mission. Therefore it is a double edge sword. Some students and parents think it is irrelevant like an art or music class but will get upset to find out it isn’t just an easy A class. Other students and parents love it because they come to our charter school just to be in this class that isn’t offered anywhere else in the state, except at the college level.

As you may have already guessed, I see a lot of students who don’t do the work. So much that I no longer assign homework, which the majority would not be able to do independently anyways or may develop the wrong way of learning the material, due to the nature of the subject. So everything is done in the classroom together as a class. And then we grade together to reinforce the learning. This is why I absolutely do not accept missing work and there is no reason for late work. Absent students make up the work by staying after school upon their return or they can print it off of Google classroom at home and turn in by the end of the day of their return. Late and missing work is a big issue at our school. I’ve had whole classrooms not do the work even as I implemented the new routine. Students will sit there and mark their papers as we do it in the classroom but by the end they are not handing it in because they claim not to have anything to hand in. Or when they do it appears they were doing very little. I’d have to micromanage all 32 students every 5 minutes to make sure they were actually doing the work, which I believe core teachers do. But that sets a very bad precedent because I noticed our students expect to be handheld every minute or they claim they can’t do the work. I know this to be the case since before this class I was teaching a computer class and the students expected me to sit right next to them and give them step-by-step instructions of where to click on the screen. They simply could not follow along as I demonstrated on the Aquos board. So I do think part of the problem is the administrators’ encouraging poor work ethics. They’re too focused on meeting proficient standard to the point they want teachers to handhold students. They also want teachers to accept late and missing work all the way until the end of each quarter. Well that’s easy if you only have a few students but when you have classrooms full of them, that means trying to grade 300+ students multiplied by “x” amount of late/missing work the week before report card rolls out – to which we still have to write comments for C- or below students. Some of us teach all the grade levels 6-8th. And that has actually had negative effects because students no longer hold themselves accountable.

To be honest, I really do think this is why there is such a high turnover rate and teachers who started giving busy work only. In the inner city, administrators only care about putting out the illusion of proficiency while students and parents don’t want any accountability for their performance. As soon as a student fails because they have to actually try to learn (which is a risk for failing), the parent comes in screaming.

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Yea, being an Art teacher you lost me at “ irrelevant like an art or music .”

I teach middle school in the inner city where missing and late work is a chronic issue so the suggestions and ideas above do not work. Students and parents have become complacent with failing grades so penalizing work isn’t going to motivate them to do better the next time. The secret to teaching in the inner city is to give them a way out without it becoming massive work for you. Because trust me, if you give them an inch they will always want a mile at your expense. Depending on which subject you teach, it might be easier to just do everything in class. That way it becomes an all or nothing grade. They either did or didn’t do the work. No excuses, no chasing down half the school through number of calls to disconnected phone numbers and out of date emails, no explaining to parents why Johnny has to stay after school to finish assignments when mom needs him home to babysit or because she works second shift and can’t pick him up, etc. Students have no reason for late work or for missing work when they were supposed to do it right there in class. Absent students can catch up with work when they return.

Milton, I agree with all of what you are saying and have experienced. Not to say that that is for all students I have had, but it is a slow progression as to what is happening with students and parents as years go by. I understand that there are areas outside of the classroom we cannot control and some students do not have certain necessities needed to help them but they need to start learning what can they do to help themselves. I make sure the students know they can come and talk to me if needing help or extra time, tutor after school and even a phone number to contact along with email if needing to ask questions or get help. But parents and students do not use these opportunities given until the week before school ends and are now wanting their student to pass and what can be done. It is frustrating and sad. I let students and parents know my expectation up front and if they do not take the opportunity to talk to me then the grade they earned is the result.

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I am a special education resource teacher and late work/missing work happens quite a lot. After reading this article, I want to try a few different things to help minimize this issue. However, I am not the one making the grades or putting the grades in. I am just giving the work to the students in small group settings and giving them more access to the resources they need to help them be successful on these assignments based on their current IEP. I use a make-up folder, and usually I will pull these students to work on their work during a different time than when I regularly pull them. That way they do not miss the delivery of instruction they get from me and it does not punish my other students either if there is make-up work that needs to be completed. I try to give my students ample time to complete their work, so there is no excuse for them not to complete it. If they are absent, then I pull them at a time that they can make it up.

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I too agree with that there’s a need for teachers to maintain more of a balance across classes when it comes to the amount of homework they give to students.

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I had a few teachers who were willing to tolerate lateness in favor of getting it/understanding the material. Lastly, my favorite teacher was the one who gave me many chances to do rewrites of a ‘bad essay’ and gave me as much time as needed (of course still within like the semester or even month but I never took more than two weeks) because he wanted me to do well. I ended up with a 4 in AP exam though so that’s good.

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Late work has a whole new meaning with virtual learning. I am drowning in late work (via Google Classroom). I don’t want to penalize students for late work as every home situation is different. I grade and provide feedback timely (to those who submitted on time). However, I am being penalized every weekend and evening as I try to grade and provide feedback during this time. I would love some ideas.

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Hi Susan! I’m in the same place–I have students who (after numerous reminders) still haven’t submitted work due days…weeks ago, and I’m either taking time to remind them again or give feedback on “old” work over my nights and weekends. So, while it’s not specific to online learning, Jenn’s A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work is a post I’ve been trying to put into practice the last few days. I hope this helps!

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Graded assignment flexibility is essential to the process of learning in general but especially in our new world of digital divide

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It is difficult to determine who is doing the work at home. Follow up videos on seesaw help to see if the student has gained the knowledge or is being given the answers.

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This is some good information. This is a difficult subject.

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I love the idea of a catch-up cafe! I think I will try to implement this in my school. It’s in the same place every day, yes? And the teachers take turns monitoring? I’m just trying to get a handle on the logistics – I know those will be the first questions I get.

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I really enjoyed this post. I think it provides a lot of perspective on a topic that teachers get way too strict about. I just wonder: wouldn’t it be inevitable for students to become lazy and care less about their understanding if there wasn’t any homework (or even if it was optional)? I know students don’t like it, and it can get redundant if they understand the content, but it truly is good practice.

Hi Shannon,

Glad the post helped! Homework is one of those hot educational topics, but I can’t say I’ve personally come across a situation or found any research where kids become lazy or unmotivated if not assigned homework. In fact, research indicates that homework doesn’t really have much impact on learning until high school. I just think that if homework is going to be assigned, it needs to be intentional and purposeful. (If students have already mastered a skill, I’m not sure how homework would provide them much benefit.) Here’s an article that I think is worth checking out. See what you think.

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I like how you brought up how homework needs to be given with the understanding that not all kids have the same resources at home. Some kids don’t have computers or their parents won’t let them use it. There is no way of knowing this so teachers should give homework that requires barely any utensils or technology.

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I think having students help determine the due dates for major assignments is a great idea. This works well with online schools too. Remote jobs are the future so helping students learn how to set their own due dates and to get homework done from home will prepare them for the future.

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This year I am trying something new. After reading this article, I noticed that I have used a combination of some of these strategies to combat late work and encourage students to turn work in on time. I only record a letter grade in the grade book: A, B, C, D, F. If a student turns in an assignment late, I flag it as late, but it does not affect their “grade”.

If a student wants to redo an assignment, they must turn something in. If they miss the due date, they can still turn it in, but lose the opportunity to redo the assignment. Students will meet with me one last time before they turn it in to get final feedback.

At the end of the grading period, I conference with the student about their final grade, looking at how many times they have handed work in on-time or late. This will determine if the student has earned an A or an A+ .

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I really appreciate how your post incorporates a lot of suggestions for the way that teachers can think about and grade homework. Thank you for mentioning how different students have different resources available as well. As teachers, we need to be aware of the different resources our students have and tailor our approach to homework to match. I like the idea of grading homework based on completion and accepting late work for full credit at any time (substituting a zero in the grade book until it is turned in). This is definitely a strategy that I’ll be using!

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So glad the article was helpful for you! I will be sure to pass on your comments to Jenn.

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I also have been teaching for a long time and I have found that providing an END OF WEEK (Friday at 11:59) due date for assignments allows students to get the work completed by that time. It helps with athletes, and others involved in extra curricular activities. I feel this is fair. I give my tests/quizzes on the days assigned and the supplemental work on Fridays.

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I personally, as a special education teach, would allow my SPED students extra time to complete the work they have missed. This is in alignment with their IEP accommodations. I would work with each one independently and have remediation with the content that they are having difficulty. This setting would be in a small group and separate classroom.

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I really like the idea of a work habits grade. I struggle with students who turn things in late regularly earning the same grade as those who always turn things in on time. A work habits grade could really motivate some learners.

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I’ve been in education for 37 years and in all manner of positions. I share this only to also say that things have changed quite a bit. When I started teaching I only had one, maybe two students in a class of 34 elementary students that would not have homework or classwork finished. Now, I have two classes of about 15 each. One group is often half the class on a regular basis not having homework or not finishing classwork on a regular basis- so far. Additionally parents will pull students out to go to amusement parks, etc and expect all work to be made up and at full credit. I believe that the idea of homework is clearly twofold- to teach accountability and to reengage a learner. Classwork is critical to working with the content and, learning objective. We can all grade various ways; however, at some point, the learner has to step up. Learning is not passive, nor is it all on the teacher. I have been called “mean” because I make students do their work in class, refocusing them, etc. I find that is my duty. Late work should be simply dealt with consistently and with understanding to circumstance IMO. You were out or it was late because mom and dad were upset, ok versus we went to Disney for three days and I was too tired. hmm- used to be easy with excused/unexcused absences, now there is no difference. Late with no absence? That can be a problem and I reach out to home and handle it individually at my level.

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Hi Jennifer! I really like your sharing about this topic! Late work is a problem that every teacher encounters. Thank you for your consideration of this issue and the many wise ideas you have provided. Your ideas also remind me to reflect on whether my overall program of assignments and grading is in a healthy place. I was inspired by the preventative measures you listed in this post. I want to try to include my students in setting deadlines, especially for some big projects. Students will feel respected by teachers and will be more willing to complete the assignments before deadlines! As you mentioned, some teachers have made homework optional or self-selected, or even stopped assigning homework. I partially agree with that opinion. I indeed try to reduce the amount of students’ homework or even stop assigning homework sometime, but doing related practice in class instead. I believe that the purpose of homework is to aid pupils in mastering the knowledge; it is not a necessary thing.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Yang. Jenn will be glad to know that you found the post inspiring!

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Thanks so much for all your insights on giving assignments or homework. All are very helpful as I prepare to return to work after an extended medical leave. It is good to refresh! Anything we require of our students should be purposeful and meaningful to them, so they will give their best to meet whatever deadlines we set. I also like asking our students when is the best time they can turn work in; this is meeting them halfway. And if one strategy does not work, there are more to try; just read this post. Thanks a bunch!!

Jenn will be glad to know the post was helpful for you, Jo!

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How to Email Professor About Late Work

Last Updated: April 12, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed. and by wikiHow staff writer, Caroline Heiderscheit . Alexander Ruiz is an Educational Consultant and the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute, a tutoring business based in Claremont, California that provides customizable educational plans, subject and test prep tutoring, and college application consulting. With over a decade and a half of experience in the education industry, Alexander coaches students to increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence while achieving skills and the goal of achieving skills and higher education. He holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 136,890 times.

With deadlines, jobs, activities, and relationships to juggle, managing your schedule as a student can be tough. If you’ve realized you’re going to miss a deadline (we’ve all been there), you might be wondering how to email your professor for an extension, to apologize, or to limit any late penalties. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Below, we'll walk you through how to email your professor, plus we'll give you some sample emails to inspire you, too. To learn how to email your professor about late work, read on!

Example Emails to Professors for a Late Assignment

Every now and then, it’s okay to miss a deadline. When this happens, send an email immediately and say something along the lines of, “I apologize for turning in this assignment late. Know that I take my work seriously, and I'll do my best to avoid this in the future. I would greatly appreciate an extension on this paper if possible.”

Tips For Late Work Emails

Step 1 Keep your email concise.

  • Don’t say: “I’m just genuinely so, so sorry. I can’t believe I turned this in late, and you have no idea how long I prepped for this assignment. I really am so sorry that I missed the deadline, and you should know that I will do my best in the future, even when I have tech issues, to not let this happen again.”
  • Instead say: “I apologize for turning in this assignment late. Know that I take my work seriously and I’ll do my best to avoid this in the future.”

Step 2 Include a subject line that's clear and detailed.

  • Don’t say: “Message from a student in Psych 104,” “Need an extension,” or “Hello from Randy Bernard!”
  • Instead say: “Extension Request for Psych104, Paper 2: Randy Bernard”

Step 3 Use a professional tone and be polite.

  • Use a formal greeting. “Dear Professor James,” and “Professor James,” are perfect. “Hey,” and “Hi,” are too informal and should be avoided.
  • Same goes for your signoff—choose a formal phrase. “Best,” and “Sincerely,” are great picks.
  • If you’re asking your professor for something, be sure to ask, not demand. Instead of saying “I need” an extension, say that an extension would be extremely helpful to you.
  • Remember to use “Please” and “Thank you," too!

Step 4 Apologize for your late assignment.

  • This could hurt your relationship and increase penalties on your assignment.
  • So instead, say you're sorry: “I apologize for my late assignment. I know you're busy, and I don’t want to waste your time.”
  • “I’m sorry for this late paper, especially because it communicates a lack of care and concern for my grades that I don't feel is accurate.”

Step 5 Ask for an extension if relevant.

  • “If I had an extra 48 hours to complete this assignment, I’d be able to fully explore and structure my insights for this term paper.”
  • “I would greatly appreciate an extension on this project. With a little more time, I could turn in my very best work and learn even more from this assignment."

Step 6 Include helpful context.

  • “Last night, my dog had a bar of chocolate without me realizing. I’ve spent the entire evening with her at the vet.”
  • "To be entirely honest, I've been dealing with some mental health issues that are seriously affecting my schoolwork."
  • If you can, avoid lying. If you're granted an extension and the truth comes out later on, you could face major consequences.

Step 7 Take responsibility instead of avoiding blame.

  • Don’t say: “Honestly, it was out of my hands entirely. I’m a victim of circumstance, and that’s why my assignment is late.”
  • Instead say: “It's true that I didn’t plan for this to happen. That being said, if I’d started earlier, this wouldn’t have been an issue. So I know, ultimately, this is my fault. I take full responsibility.”

Step 8 Say that it won’t happen again and you take school seriously.

  • “This isn’t like me, and in the future, I promise to do better.”
  • “I take my schoolwork very seriously. If it weren’t for my dog’s illness, I would have made getting this assignment in my top priority.”

Step 9 Attach relevant documents.

Sample Emails

Step 1

Why You Should Email Your Professor About Late Work

Step 1 You could get a deadline extension for your assignment.

  • Policies around extensions differ from school to school, but by writing an A+ email, you can only help your chances.
  • Generally, professors only give you an extension under extenuating circumstances, like a major accident. They're going to be less inclined to extend an assignment if you had competing priorities, like work.
  • Professors are people too, and they want to help! Especially if you don’t have a history of late work, when you plead your case, they may be more forgiving than you’d expect.

Step 2 You might limit the number of points docked on your assignment.

  • Especially if you had a major, unforeseen factor pop up in the final moments before submitting your assignment, you may be able to explain and limit your punishment.

Step 3 Your professor will know that you take school seriously.

  • By offering a respectful and honest apology for your late assignment, you can improve your relationship with your professor, earn their respect, and possibly limit your late assignment’s penalties.

Expert Q&A

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

You Might Also Like

Write an Email

  • ↑ https://dean.williams.edu/files/2010/09/Guide-to-Emailing-Professors-1.pdf
  • ↑ https://advising.yalecollege.yale.edu/how-write-email-your-instructor
  • ↑ https://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/health-counseling/university-counseling-center/news-ucc/emailing-your-professor-tips-tricks-health
  • ↑ https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/how-to-ask-for-an-extension/
  • ↑ https://www.makemyassignments.com/blog/how-to-complete-your-assignments-before-the-deadline/
  • ↑ https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2019/09/23/tips-handling-missed-deadline-opinion

About This Article

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

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Late Assignment Excuses That Don’t Fail

late assignment excuses

Students need late assignment excuses all the time. Ideally, it’s common for learners to fail to submit their assignments within the duration the educator stipulates. For instance, the stress of keeping up with everything that happens to the student’s academic life can hinder them from meeting the deadlines.

Although some learners are careless, some cases are genuine, and educators consider them. However, a learner must request a submission deadline extension. Also, the teacher expects a substantial reason for delaying the assignment submission. This article highlights some of the homework excuses that students give for late assignment submission or law assignment help .

Table of Contents

Top reasons for late submission of assignments, what to do when handing in a late paper, how to ask for an extension, consequences for late assignment submission.

Something simple like the inability to keep up with the environment can be a reason for late submission. Ideally, a learner can develop stress that prevents them from keeping up with the assignment deadlines. However, a student must analyze their scenario carefully to determine whether they should request a deadline extension. That’s because educators expect students to provide compelling reasons for turning in assignments late in college, university, or high school. Here are the primary reasons students give for assignments’ late submission.

  • Lost Homework Losing homework is a common reason that some learners give for not submitting their assignments on time. For instance, a learner can claim that somebody stole the work from their bag. Crime is rampant among college and high school students. And you can blame this on your inability to meet the assignment submission deadline. If somebody stole your assignment, the teacher may allow you to submit it late, provided your case seems genuine.
  • I Forgot to Submit My Assignment You can tell the teacher that you didn’t remember to submit the assignment on time, but you have already done it. For instance, you can tell the educator that you had many things going on in your life and forgot to bring the assignment to class or their office. That way, the educator might allow you to submit the work at a later date or time. Some students give this excuse when they are yet to finish the assignment, but they can complete it within the allowed extension.
  • Domestic Violence Domestic violence is typical in modern marriages. Since this is a sensitive issue, most educators consider it when learners blame it for late submission. However, your teacher might bring the subject up to your parents or guardians. Additionally, the educator might report the issue to the guidance and counseling office. Consequently, the office can contact your guardians or parents to discuss the ordeals. And this will ensure that your parents understand the effects of their actions on your school life.
  • Blame it on Sickness Sickness is something natural, and it can happen to anyone at an unexpected time. Ideally, avoiding an illness is almost impossible. A sick student might lack the emotional and physical strength to work on their homework or assignment. Therefore, the disease is one of the good excuses for late homework submission. However, ensure that you have a good backing for this excuse. For instance, you can provide a doctor’s note when using this excuse. Also, you can give this excuse if it’s your immediate family member that was ill, thereby hindering you from completing the assignment. For instance, you might not write your assignment if you have a highly sick sister or parent. You can even stop working on your academic task to take care of your loved one. And that’s a solid reason to compel the educator to extend your assignment submission deadline.
  • Writer’s Block When working on homework, a student might read several books, leading to writer’s block. This situation can be overwhelming, and it may affect the student’s productivity. Even after taking short breaks, the leader might still find the assignment almost impossible to complete. Most teachers listen to students that fail to submit assignments due to writer’s block. The educator might even grant you a leave of several days before recollecting and working on the homework. Nevertheless, you must apologize and acknowledge your action’s consequences. Also, accept responsibility, show regret, and promise the educator that it won’t happen again.
  • Overwhelming Assignment Having too many writing assignments with tight deadlines is also among the good homework excuses. In most cases, academic papers require ample time to prepare and write. Therefore, you can request the professor to allow you more time to work on your assignments. And this is undoubtedly a valid reason for justifying late assignments. But don’t wait to request the extension at the last minute. Instead, tell the educator early that you have other projects, probably when they assign you a new task.
  • Job Interview Perhaps, you’re applying for a job while pursuing your education, and you’re lucky to land an interview. In that case, you can request an extension for your assignment deadline. Your educator will listen and most likely accept your apology. They will also grant you ample time to prepare for the interview and attend it on the specified date. After that, you can submit the assignment late without penalties.
  • My Computer Crashed Maybe the educator specified that you should type and print your assignment. Some schools also require learners to submit homework via web-based platforms. In that case, you can blame a crashed computer for a late assignment. That’s because a computer can crash with your complete homework in it. Also, you can tell the educator that your younger siblings or pets broke your laptop. You can even say power failure or hackers damaged your computer. And this is a reasonable excuse for not turning in homework, especially for a serial assignment offender. The teacher might contend that you might have used other methods like loading the assignment to a USB, but you can say that the incident happened abruptly.

late assignment excuses

On realizing that you will miss the assignment deadline, prepare to submit it late without facing disciplinary actions from your educator or use college homework help . If you don’t acknowledge and apologize, the educator can even penalize you on the ground that you submitted assignment 1 minute late. Therefore, don’t panic or ignore your delay in handing in the homework late. Instead, follow these steps to handle the situation safely.

Talk to the educator early: Telling your professor or teacher that you can’t complete the homework on time shows that you’re not a lazy student waiting to give late submission excuses at the last minute. The educator will appreciate your efforts to share the unforeseen problems with them beforehand. Meet with the educator: Be calm and try everything possible to convince the educator of the validity of your reason to be late with your assignment. Also, show the educator that you won’t be late due to lack of motivation or laziness. Email your professor or teacher: If the assignment’s due date is very close, write your professor an email. In the email, explain your circumstance, the reason for your situation, and apologize for the delay. Take responsibility: No professor likes students that keep requesting deadline extensions. But if your situation hinders you from meeting the deadline, request its extension and take responsibility. Don’t blame your school or the teacher for providing insufficient time. Instead, be mature and explain why you can’t meet the deadline. Promise the educator that it won’t happen again: You won’t be lucky whenever you fail to submit your assignment within the deadline the educator stipulates. Nevertheless, promise the educator that this won’t happen in the future and follow through.

Follow these steps, and your educator might accept your excuses for not doing homework within the stipulated timeframe.

Even if you have the best homework excuses, the educator might ask you to write an apology letter or email. In some institutions, students fill out a deadline extension form to apply for a new one. If this is an option in your school, consider it if you have a genuine reason. But if the educator asks you to write an apology letter or an email requesting a deadline extension, take the time to do it.

In your late assignment email, express your remorse or regret for the inability to submit the work on time. Also, explain how you found yourself in the situation. Additionally, promise the educator that this won’t happen in the future.

Here is a late assignment submission email sample to guide you:

Ref: Late Assignment Submission (Full name and class) Dear Sir/Madam, I’m contacting you because I won’t manage to submit my (assignment title) on (date) due to (give reasons). I undoubtedly understand my mistake, and I sincerely apologize. I should have been meticulous in the first place. I kindly request you allow me to hand it in on (date). I sincerely apologize for this, and it won’t happen again. Warm regards, (Your name and class)

Your email to professor about late assignment should be formal. Thus, don’t sound like you’re addressing a family member or friend. Instead, be polite, mature, and official in your email. Also, keep it brief.

Even after providing late excuses in your email, your professor could penalize you for missing the deadline. Different learning institutions deal with assignment extension excuses uniquely. For instance, most universities penalize learners by taking off 5% of the assignment’s marks. After seven days, the professor won’t accept your request again. What’s more, different universities have measures for deterring lateness among students.

If you continue being late with assignments, the university can postpone your studies. Failure to submit work within your semester’s schedule can also prevent the faculty from compiling your marks. Thus, you will not appear in the graduation list if in the final year.

In some cases, failure to submit the assignment on time can lead to expulsion or suspension. Therefore, understand the individual policies that govern assignment submission when joining a learning institution.

Get Professional Homework Help

You don’t have to wait until the educator decides to penalize you when you can seek assistance with your assignment. Our crew comprises knowledgeable assignment helpers with a reputation for providing the best online class help to learners at different academic levels. We offer trustworthy, reliable, and quality assistance to students from all parts of the world. Our native writers will assist you if struggling with a term paper, essay, or any other assignment. We offer helpful services to learners and ensure they submit 100 percent unique papers. Contact us now!

What is the best excuse for late homework?

The best excuse for late homework are: “I got my backpack with my homework on it stolen”; “I left the binder in my parent’s car, and they are at work”; “I was not feeling well;” “My printer was damaged;” and “My laptop got stolen.” However, ensure that you deliver the excuse properly and be convincing.

How do I excuse a late submission of an assignment?

The best way to excuse a late submission of your assignment is to communicate with the professor. Ensure you have a good excuse for the delay and request an alternative deadline. If possible, offer evidence that will support your excuse.

What is the best reason for late submission?

One of the best reasons for late submission is being ill. That’s because it is easy for lecturers to understand illness as a reason for late submission since it can impact students’ ability to complete their projects on time.

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excuses to submitting late assignments

Convincing Excuses For Late Assignment

Convincing Excuses For Late Assignment

Best Excuses For Late Assignments or Homework

1. writer’s block.

Are you in need of a high-quality, 100% plagiarism free essay or online class help? Place your order and get 100% original work.

2. Family problems

3. another paper was due, 4. a job interview, 5. expose a lazy group member, 6. network and power failures, 7. issues with your computer, 9. accidents and other unforeseen situations, what to do after finding an excuse for a late assignment.

  • Show that you regret the situation and apologize. Your instructor needs to see that you are not lying; hence an apology can keep you in a positive light. Additionally, you need to show that you care about your academics, hence the regret. 
  • Promise that it won’t happen again. When late, assure your instructor that this will not occur again, thus ensuring that you retain their trust. 
  • Offer a guarantee that you will correct the situation. Be sure to complete the assignment promptly and deliver it since it shows your willingness to commit to your studies and, in some cases, proves that your excuse was real since it was the only thing that prevented you from delivering the essay.

Consequences Of Handing Assignments Late Without A Convincing Excuse

2. repeating courses, 3. poor relationship with the instructor, sample apology letter for late assignment.

Dear Sir/Madam, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for the late submission of my paper, which was due on the 17th of November. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by my lateness. The delay was caused by the fact that I am a caretaker to a sick relative. Their condition is chronic; hence they often need my assistance and have no family living close by who can assist. The person had an emergency late in the night on the 16th; hence I did not anticipate the problem. From that night till the evening of the next day(the 17th). I was with my relative at the clinic and was very worried; hence I forgot to inform you promptly. (or insert any other excuse for your lateness).  I have now completed the assignment, and you can find it attached as a document in this email. Please note that I have learned my lesson and will not make such a mistake in the future. If such an issue arises again, you are sure that I will inform you promptly.  Kindly accept my apology. Regards, (Student name).

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Late for Assignment Submission? Here's How to Write a Perfect Excuse Letter?

  • MyAssignmentHelpAu
  • 07 Feb 2022

In any organization, meeting a deadline for task submission is critical. The timely submission of needed work might affect a lot of work. This is most commonly applicable to businesses that rely on donations and must present a project report. Commercial companies are likewise highly concerned about deadlines, and employees are expected to fulfill them. On the other hand, employees are unable to achieve deadlines due to their delays.

If you fail to present your work on time, it may cause complications at work. You do not need to be concerned, though, because you may rectify the problem by sending an apology letter. Explain why you were late with your submission in your apology letter. As a guide, a Sample Apology Letter for Late Submission can make things clearer, smoother, and simpler. If you cannot write a letter on your own, it is recommended that you seek help from professionals who provide My Assignment Help Australia in letter writing.

How Do You Write a Perfect Late Assignment Excuse Letter?

1. address the correct individual.

The first thing you need to do is find out who you're writing to. Is it your professor, your department chair, or the university administration? Most institutions prefer to get letters from their heads of departments or the university administration. Start with courteous terms and the relevant mail address from your university's website. In the correspondence, provide a formal designation or name and your department and personal information.

2. Assume responsibility and write concisely

Your professors or the authorities for whom you are writing may be too busy to read the full account of your late submission owing to their hectic schedules. As a result, rather than writing in circles, it is recommended that you go right to the point. Begin your letter of apology for the late submission of the assignment by expressing your regret for being late. Instead of making excuses like the deadline were too tight or any other unimportant explanation, take responsibility for your actions and accept the blame. Keep in mind that your professor will not be pleased. It appears to be something you are compelled to do.

3. Take Personal Responsibility

Because all students have the same deadlines, each student must submit the assignment by the deadline, rather than waiting until the end and requesting extensions.

If you have a legitimate explanation or scenario for missing the deadline, take responsibility and accept responsibility for your actions, and do your best to resolve the issue. Present yourself as a serious, mature professional or student who knows his obligations.

4. Examine Some Reasons to Write an Excuse Letter for an Assignment

  • There's a problem with your Internet connection.
  • You assumed the deadline was flexible
  • You were ill suddenly
  • You had a family emergency
  • You battled with the issue for three days and realized you couldn't handle it
  • You lost electricity
  • You accidentally damaged your laptop
  • You required more time to review the evidence

5. Glue the Pieces of Evidence Together

It would not be adequate to merely write the reasons in an excuse letter for the late submission of assignments. You must, however, back it up with appropriate information so that your professors can confirm it. If you're writing about a family emergency, for example, don't forget to include the doctor's prescription with the letter.

Similarly, if you cannot submit your assignment due to scheduled job commitments, include a note from your employer. To make it more trustworthy, you may add verification sources such as people's names and contact information.

Apology Letter for Late Submission of Project (Sample Letter)


Application for late assignment submission (subject line) [your complete name; details about your class and section]

Name of the recipient: Mr. Thomas,

Body: I apologize for the delay in submitting the proposal. I apologize for the inconvenience, and I hope you will accept my apologies and provide me with a new deadline.

The interruption occurs due to [reasons or justifications for the delay]. I assure you that I was unable to finish the task.

Finally, please accept my heartfelt apologies for this oversight. I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening again.

Best wishes,

[Include your complete name, class, and personal information]

Attach proof of lateness; this will greatly boost the odds of your assignment getting accepted.

Protocols to Follow When Writing an Apology Letter for Late Project Submission

When sending emails to your professors, you must adhere to etiquette since they demonstrate maturity and respect for your professor's time.


It's conceivable, though, that you have a legitimate reason for submitting late assignments; in that instance, students can request a deadline extension by completing the deadline extension form. At MyAssignmentHelpAU, we give your assignment projects to specialists that have thorough comprehension and expertise of their respective areas so that we can supply you with high-quality answers as the most famous online academic support company in the world.

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Guide: How to Apologize for a Late Submission of an Assignment

Submitting an assignment late can be a stressful situation, but it’s important to take responsibility and apologize. Whether you need to apologize to a professor, boss, or colleague, this guide will provide you with tips and examples on how to say sorry for a late submission of an assignment. We’ll cover both formal and informal ways to apologize, focusing on a warm and sincere tone.

Formal Apologies

When you need to apologize formally, it’s important to be respectful and professional. Use proper language and follow a polite structure for your apology. Here are some tips and examples:

1. Acknowledge the lateness clearly

Begin your apology by acknowledging that you are submitting the assignment late. This shows that you are aware of the situation and taking responsibility for it.

Dear [Professor/Supervisor’s Name], I am writing to apologize for the late submission of my assignment on [assignment title]. I understand that it was due on [due date], and I sincerely apologize for not meeting the deadline.

2. Show remorse and take responsibility

Express your regret and take full responsibility for the late submission. This shows that you acknowledge the impact of your actions and that you genuinely feel sorry for the inconvenience caused.

I apologize for the delay and any inconvenience it may have caused. It was an oversight on my part, and I take full responsibility for not managing my time effectively.

3. Provide a genuine reason (if applicable)

If there was a legitimate reason for the delay, briefly mention it. However, avoid making excuses or providing lengthy explanations. Keep it concise and focus on the resolution.

I encountered unexpected personal circumstances that required my immediate attention, which unfortunately hindered my progress on the assignment. However, I fully understand that this should not have affected my ability to meet the deadline.

4. Apologize directly and express commitment to improvement

Acknowledge the impact of your late submission and assure the recipient that you have learned from this experience and will take steps to avoid similar situations in the future.

Once again, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused by my late submission. I have learned from this situation and will ensure better time management and organization in future assignments.

Informal Apologies

For situations where a more casual tone is appropriate, such as apologizing to a friend or classmate, you can adopt a less formal approach. However, it’s still important to express genuine remorse and take responsibility for your actions. Here’s how:

1. Begin with a friendly greeting

Address the recipient using a friendly and familiar tone, emphasizing your relationship or the context in which you know each other.

Hey [Friend’s Name],

2. Express regret and acknowledge the lateness

Apologize sincerely and mention that you are aware of the late submission. This demonstrates that you understand the inconvenience caused.

I wanted to say sorry for submitting the assignment late. I know it was due a few days ago, and I feel really bad about it.

3. Briefly explain the situation

If appropriate, offer a brief explanation for the delay while avoiding lengthy justifications.

I had a family emergency last week that required my immediate attention, and it caused me to fall behind on the assignment. However, I know that it’s still my responsibility to meet deadlines, and I apologize for not doing so.

4. Show commitment to improvement

Convey your determination to avoid future late submissions and emphasize the lesson learned from this experience.

I promise to be more organized and manage my time better in the future. I understand that it’s important to meet deadlines, and I don’t want to let you down again.

Regional Variations

While the basic principles of apologizing for a late submission remain the same across regions, there may be slight variations in language or cultural norms. It’s important to be aware of these differences when communicating with individuals from different backgrounds. However, for the purpose of this guide, we’ll focus on general tips that can be applied universally.

Apologizing for a late submission of an assignment is necessary to maintain professional relationships and demonstrate integrity. Remember to acknowledge the lateness clearly, express genuine remorse, and take full responsibility for your actions. Whether you need to apologize formally to a professor or informally to a friend, sincerity and commitment to improvement should shine through. By following the guidelines and using the examples provided in this guide, you’ll be able to apologize effectively and repair any damage caused by the late submission.

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excuses to submitting late assignments

How to Apologize to Your Teacher for a Late Submission

Submitting assignments on time is important for academic success, but sometimes unforeseen circumstances can lead to a late submission. When this happens, it's crucial to apologize to your teacher and show respect for their time and guidelines. Whether you need to say sorry formally or informally, here is a guide to help you with various ways to apologize for a late submission.

Guide: How to Say Sorry for Late Submission

When it comes to submitting tasks, assignments, or projects, meeting deadlines is of utmost importance. However, sometimes circumstances arise that can hinder our ability to submit something on time. Regardless of the reason, it is essential to apologize for any inconvenience caused by a late submission. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to express your apologies, providing various tips and examples to assist you in communicating your regrets effectively and maintaining a warm tone.

Guide: How to Say Sorry to Your Teacher for Late Submission

Submitting assignments on time is crucial for academic success, but sometimes unexpected circumstances can lead to late submissions. However, it's essential to take responsibility for your actions and apologize to your teacher. In this guide, we will provide you with valuable tips and examples on how to apologize for a late submission to your teacher, both formally and informally.

A Guide on How to Apologize for a Late Reply

Apologies are an essential part of effective communication. When it comes to replying to messages or emails, delay in response is not uncommon, but expressing regret for the tardy reply is crucial in maintaining good relationships and conveying respect for the other person's time. In this guide, we will explore different ways to apologize for a late reply, both formally and informally. We will also provide tips and examples to help you navigate the delicate art of apologizing for a delayed response.

Guide: How to Apologize for a Late Reply

We've all been there – you receive a message, and life gets in the way, causing a delay in your response. While it's important to acknowledge and address the delay, the key to a sincere apology lies in both your tone and choice of words. In this guide, we'll explore various ways to apologize for a late reply, including formal and informal expressions. Remember, sincerity is key, so be genuine in your message and emphasize your regret for any inconvenience caused.

Guide: How to Say "I Apologize for my Late Response"

When it comes to communication, promptness is valued and delays can sometimes create misunderstandings or frustration. If you find yourself needing to apologize for responding late to a message, whether it's an email, text, or any other form of communication, this guide will help you navigate the situation. We'll explore formal and informal ways to convey your apology and provide various tips and examples to assist you in expressing your remorse effectively.

Guide: How to Say "I Apologize for the Late Response"

Apologizing for a late response is important to maintain professional or personal relationships. Whether you're writing a formal email, a text message, or speaking face-to-face, expressing your apology in a polite and sincere manner is key. This guide will provide you with formal and informal ways to apologize for a delayed response, as well as some helpful tips and examples to ensure your message comes across warm and genuine.

How to Apologize Professionally for Being Late

Being late to a professional commitment can happen to anyone, but it's essential to take responsibility and apologize sincerely when it does occur. Promptly acknowledging your tardiness demonstrates respect, integrity, and a commitment to professionalism. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to apologize for being late professionally, offering various examples and tips on expressing your sincere apologies.

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Tips To Write An Excuse Letter For Late Submission Of Assignments

Tips to Write an Excuse Letter for Late Submission of Assignments

Late submissions are common for students since they have a lot to manage. It can get difficult to manage studies, jobs, exams, and assignments, due to which you may end up submitting them late. Hence, you need an extension for your submission in these cases. The majority of universities want their students to submit a letter so that they can get an extension on their assignments. This letter may be termed an “excuse letter,” which explains your reason for not submitting your assignment on time and requesting more time. However, you need to ensure that your letter is up to par so that it can get approved right away. You have to note that if your letter is not convincing, your request can be rejected and you will be given fewer marks. There is an upfront penalty for submitting late assignments.

Tips To Write An Excuse Letter For Late Submission Of Assignments

Here are some tips on how to write an outstanding excuse letter for your late submission.

Be Clear about your Reason.

The first tip is that you have to indicate your reason for making late submissions to the authorities. For this reason, you have to ensure that you focus on using simple and understandable language in your letter is reason, you have to ensure that you focus on using simple and understandable language in your letter. Your reason should be strong enough, like a medical issue or some other issue that can be considered by the university when granting you time. You have to note that universities don’t accept all reasons. So you should be selective about choosing the reason. Hence, you should be clear in your approach.

Be Polite and Respectful.

Since you are asking for more time to submit your assignment, you have to ensure that you are polite and respectful. You shouldn’t use rude language, which can make a bad impression in any way. Your overall tone should be apologetic so that your tutor can get a fair idea that you are sad about your late submission and that it was not intentional. Moreover, your tone should indicate that the circumstances were such that you had to take an extension for your assignment. You can hire a professional writer if you think you can’t write it properly.

Submit Directly to the Concerned Authority.

As you already have a short time, you must submit it directly to the concerned authority. You shouldn’t submit here and there, as it can waste your time and you may end up losing marks.

Know your Point of Contact.

Check your moodle or blackboard for information on your tutor and how to contact him in order to submit this letter.

Consider using Professional Writing Services.

If you think you don’t have the time or competency to write an excuse letter, you can get one from a professional writing service . Some professional writers can help you with writing the best letter for your assignment.

These are some tips that can help you write a good excuse letter and also submit it on time to get quick approval. Don’t compromise on the quality of your letter, as it is a crucial document for you.

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excuses to submitting late assignments

How to Write an Email Requesting Your Professor to Accept a Late Assignment

excuses to submitting late assignments

Requesting an extension as a student is something we all dread but if the situation demands it then you have to pull up your socks and do it.

And in this blog post we will look at how you can write an email requesting a deadline extension, some tips and tricks to ensure you sound polite and professional and finally a sample email that you can just use. So let us jump in.

Tips to Remember

  • Be polite with your wording since you do not want to upset your professor and also stay honest with your reasoning. 
  • Take responsibility for being unable to submit assignments on time. There is no harm in stating your reason for delay and moving forward rather than shifting blame elsewhere. 
  • Apologize for inconvenience caused due to the late submission of your assignment and clearly state that you are willing to make up for it. 

Best Practices

  • Get to the point without a lot of fluff, your professor might actually appreciate the fact that you are straight with him about your academic concerns and weakness.
  • Clear state proposed dates to avoid any confusion and assure him that there will be no drop in the quality of submission.
  • Keep communication lines open so that your professor is able to contact in case of clarifications or change in planes.

Sample Late Assignment Acceptance Request Email

Subject: Requesting Assignment Submission Date Extension to [Date]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

Hope this email finds you well. I am writing to possibly get an extension on my assignment submission date because [Briefly explain the challenges and the reason for the delay]. 

By my estimate, I should be able to submit the assignment by [New Proposed Date] while ensuring that the quality of the submission is not compromised. 

I completely understand the importance of timely submission and regret being unable to meet that deadline. I apologize for the inconvenience and confusion my delay might have caused, and I will work hard to ensure that this is not repeated. 

I am fully committed to holding to my new proposed deadline and striving towards a high-quality output that I am proud of. In the meantime, if you have any queries on the matter, feel free to let me know on [Your Email ID]. 

Thanks for your flexibility and consideration in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

[Your Name]

Now that you have learned how to ask for an assignment submission extension via email, you should be a lot more confident about your email or communication capabilities. Thanks for reading. 

Also FYI, if you are interested in improving your time management skills, you should consider downloading the Routine Productivity App .

Shiva is a subject matter expert in communication, marketing, productivity, and learning systems. He has previously contributed to many blogs and newsletters, including Validated, Mental Models, HackerNoon, and several brands. You can find Shiva on  LinkedIn  or email him at shiva(at)routine.co.

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excuses to submitting late assignments

How to apologize for late work in college (with email template)

excuses to submitting late assignments

Well, here you are after missing a deadline on an assignment in college and you want to tell your professor that you are sorry about turning it in late.

This is really thoughtful of you and an apology can go a really long way. If you write a good enough apology, maybe your professor won’t penalize you for turning it in late in the first place.

And even if they won’t do that for you, at least you can let them know you really care about their class.

I can help you because I was a professor for 15 years and I received A LOT of late assignments from students. And I also got a lot of emails from students regarding their late work that included lots of excuses.

I will tell you what strategies worked the best because all excuses aren’t equal. However, it isn’t just about the excuse but more about your sincerity.

And let’s face it, you might not even have a good reason why you missed the deadline anyway. But here you are. And now you want to politely tell your professor you are sorry.

You don’t want to make a bad impression.

In this article, I am going to go over ways to apologize for your late work. But don’t worry, I have another article that helps students understand when professors accept late work and how to ask.

READ MORE : How to ask you professor to accept late work

READ MORE : How to ask for a makeup assignment

How do you politely apologize for a late submission

When a college student has to turn in work late, it is considerate for them to tell their professor why they’re submitting it late and apologize. I think it’s best that students follow my email template on how to explain their situation and say they’re sorry for submitting it late in the first place.

I have an email template to help you apologize to your professor for your late assignment. But let me go over a few things first.

You might wonder if you even need to apologize in the first place. Yes, I think you should send a quick email to let your professor know you are sorry.

This is because your professor will think that you care about your education and their class. And as a former professor, I got a lot of late assignments and very few emails from students saying they’re sorry.

But when I did get an apology, I knew the student was serious about the class and their coursework, and it let me know just how much they appreciated my course.

You might wonder what’s in it for you. Well, your professor might choose to remove your late penalty. Or at the end of the semester, they might raise your grade just a bit.

At the very least, they will know you appreciated them accepting the assignment.

Alright, enough about that. Let’s get into telling them.

Email template saying you’re sorry for late work

Dear Professor Smith,

I wanted to send you an email explaining my late work. Recently, I had to submit a few assignments late. I know that this likely inconveniences you because of the late grading and I apologize. But I also wanted to let you know that this late work is not a reflection of me or my abilities. I had some personal issues that I had to deal with and this caused me to fall behind in all my classes. I am caught up and I am working to prevent the same issues in the future because I care about your course and my education. I just wanted to let you know that I do care about your class and my late work has nothing to do with my excitement for this course.

Sincerely, your student

Okay, this is an email template of how to ask your professor for forgiveness on your late assignment.

Your professor will think that you care a lot about your education, and they may even cut you some slack. What I like about this email is that you aren’t asking for anything from your professor.

Instead, you are letting them know how sorry you are and that you are really trying.

Now, what are you waiting for, go email them now!

READ MORE : How to ask for an extension or makeup assignment


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excuses to submitting late assignments

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A Late Work Policy That Works for Teachers and Students

Creating clear boundaries around when students can submit assignments after the due date can boost morale for everyone.

Photo of high school student and teacher in classroom

When the end of a term approaches, educator social media is full of images and commentary on the sheer amount of grading that will be coming their way. From images of monstrous waves or an exhausted teacher grasping a large cup of coffee, the stress is palpable. So how do we make this better for everyone, including teachers, students, families, case coordinators, and everyone else struggling at the end of the term?

As educators, we want to be considerate of the fact that students have yet to acquire excellent management skills. But we also need to protect our own mental health and teach students the responsibility that comes with completing assignments and turning in work. 

Designing a Late Work Policy With Students

Some years back, I had a high school world language class with a wonderful group of students—but getting work from them was challenging on a good day. After one particularly exhausting end of the term when I received a monumental amount of late work, I flatly said, “We can’t do this again.” Shockingly, they agreed. I gave the class 30 minutes to discuss as a class what they thought could be a fair policy. The requirements were simple: 

1. Simplicity. This policy had to be easy for me to manage as a teacher.

2. Accountability. It couldn’t be a free-for-all with no accountability. 

I could easily write a separate article on how to have students design class policies, but that is for a different time. Here is what the students came up with as a proposal:

Assessment as final deadline: All homework and classwork is accepted full credit until the assessment—then it is not accepted at all. This also counts for any retakes (or corrections) to other activities or smaller assessments. 

The 55 percent rule: If a student does the large majority of the assignments up until assessment, they do not get less than 55 percent on any assessment. This gives students an incentive to get their work done and make arrangements with the teacher to keep on track. It should be very unlikely that a student will do the majority of assignments related to an assessment and get below 55 percent. However, if it does happen, they know that there are policies in place to help them.

If a student does get below 55 percent and has done the large majority of the work, this forces me as an educator to consider the cause. Did other students have similar troubles? If so, was the assessment reflective of the work done in class? If this student was an outlier, perhaps they simply had a rough day (which does happen)?

Assessment as proof of competency: If a student is missing an assignment and they get above a certain score on the assessment, they can get partial credit for any missing work related to the assessment. The students were very clear that this was not a reason to not do work, but rather it was to allow students to focus on critical assignments if they get behind. 

Assessment as redo attempt: If a student does well on a final unit assessment, they can have their grade raised for smaller assessments leading up to that larger one. This was because they showed understanding in areas where they had struggled before. 

Once this policy was created, I shared it with all my sections. Students overwhelmingly supported it. So, we decided to implement it on a trial basis. Once that was a success, I shared this with colleagues, and they implemented it in their classrooms as well. It is now a regular course policy and is shared in all of my course syllabi.

a policy that works for teachers and students

After we set this policy up in my classroom, I observed a variety of benefits.

Morale boost for teacher and students: There was an immediate turnaround for both me and my students. Students who felt that failure was inevitable were motivated and engaged. And I felt better about giving students another chance-–but with boundaries. 

Increased accountability: Students held each other accountable for their own success and admitted when they were not putting in their effort. Parents were highly supportive; it was clear why a student was not successful, and this saved a lot of time responding to parent emails.

Better-quality work: Work was less rushed, which led to better quality, deeper learning, and stronger assessment scores. Students told me they had often rushed through work so it wouldn’t be marked late, but this gave them time to do quality work and therefore learn in the process.

Students did the work: Very few students used the “proof of competency policy” as a chance to simply not do work. Rather, this policy helped students prioritize missing work if they got really behind. Although I worried that this policy might be taken advantage of, only a small handful of students tried—and they realized very quickly that this was not a recipe for success. 

Range of grades: There was still a wide range of grades. Highly skilled students who had an excellent understanding of the content still earned excellent grades. Those who struggled earned grades that weren’t quite as high, but they felt empowered with the recognition of their efforts.

So why does this policy work? I believe there are two main reasons. The first is assurance. Provided they do “their part,” students feel that they can be successful and are assured that their efforts do matter. If they make mistakes, life events make submitting work challenging, or the content gets particularly hard for them, there are structures in place to help them. Second, there is a sense of control for the students. Students crave the opportunity to have control over their future, and they are able to recognize what is fair and how they (and their classmates) should be held accountable for their responsibilities.  


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  2. Excuse Letter For Late Submission Of Assignments Sample

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  4. Apology Letter to Teacher for Late Submission of Assignment

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  5. 23 Believable Excuses for Submitting Assignments Late

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  6. PPT

    excuses to submitting late assignments


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  1. 20 Good Excuses for Late Assignment Submission Your Teacher won't

    Job interview: This excuse is for slightly older learners. If a student has to appear for a job that is directly related to their subject or area of study then they can be excused for late submission. 18. You have a Learning Disability. If you have a learning disability, you need to tell your university in advance.

  2. Late Assignment Submission Excuses

    Bad Excuses for Late Assignment Submission: While it's critical to be open and truthful about legitimate justifications for late assignment submissions, it's equally crucial to identify and refrain from offering lame justifications that lack veracity or show a lack of accountability. Examples of justifications that are typically viewed as ...

  3. 9 Excuses for Late Assignments: Turning Online Homework Late

    In this section, we can examine some of the good excuses you can provide to justify your late submission of the online assignment. 1. Computer Issues. When your laptop fails to work, it can lead to the destruction of your schedule. Such an excuse co only be valid if you provide evidence for your argument.

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  5. 31 Best Assignment Extension Excuses (2024)

    2. You've had Writer's Block. >>> Related Post: How to Write an Essay at the Last Minute. This extension excuse gets points for honesty. If you come to your teacher and say "Look, I've read all of the readings, but the creativity just hasn't come" then your teacher might just give you a little extra time.

  6. 23 Believable Excuses for Submitting Assignments Late

    Here are some convincing reasons you can use if you fail to meet a submission deadline for an assignment and either want an extension or want it to be accepted and graded unconditionally. 1. The truth will set you Free! The best excuse for submitting an assignment late is to tell your instructor or teacher the truth.

  7. 15 Best Excuses for Late Assignments

    As promised, this article has covered the 15 best excuses for late assignments. Above all other considerations, it's crucial to put out your best effort and complete your assignment by the due date. It is preferable to submit the work on time rather than wasting time, effort, and strain trying to find the ideal explanation.

  8. What to Say (and Not Say) When Handing in Late Assignments, According

    Late work penalties are almost always noted in the syllabus, and it's hard to fight a grade reduction when things are clearly laid out in writing well before the homework is due. You can try ...

  9. 10+ Best Excuses for Late Assignments

    The common and leading excuses for submitting late assignments are as follows: 1. Health issue: This reason is a natural thing that happens and the student is not able to avoid this situation. Suffering from an illness will make the student weak physically and mentally too resulting in not being able to complete the assignment on time.

  10. Excuses for Late Assignments

    By understanding and using these excuses, you can get out of trouble fast and navigate through late assignment situations without damaging your academic performance. Key Takeaways. Unforeseen circumstances can arise and hinder your ability to submit assignments on time.

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    Begin with a salutation that is "Dear sir/madam.". Now explain yourself in simple terms and make the professor understand why you are submitting your assignment late. You can borrow an example from a list of excuses for a late assignment that I have created from my interactions with students.

  12. I Forgot to Submit my Assignment: Here are 6 things to do

    Submitting it a few hours after the deadline can make the instructor understand any excuses for late assignments you give other than submitting it days after the deadline passed. 2. Alert the Professor of the Lateness. The best thing to do if you forget to submit your assignment is to alert the professor.

  13. A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work

    Another variation on this approach is to assign a batch of work for a whole week and ask students to get it in by Friday. This way, students get to manage when they get it done. Other names mentioned for this strategy were flexible deadlines, soft deadlines, and due windows. 6. Let Students Submit Work in Progress.

  14. Emailing a Professor about Late Work: Best Examples & Tips

    Then, make sure to be as courteous as possible throughout your email as well. [3] Use a formal greeting. "Dear Professor James," and "Professor James," are perfect. "Hey," and "Hi," are too informal and should be avoided. Same goes for your signoff—choose a formal phrase. "Best," and "Sincerely," are great picks.

  15. Apology Letter for Being Late in Submission

    Apology letter for late submission of assignment [May 7, 20xx] [Mr. James Jones] Dear Mr. Jones, I am writing to sincerely apologize for the late submission of my assignment. Unfortunately, I was unable to submit it on time due to a sudden illness. I experienced a high fever, which required my parents to take me to the hospital for medical ...

  16. Late Assignment Excuses

    Here is a late assignment submission email sample to guide you: Ref: Late Assignment Submission (Full name and class) Dear Sir/Madam, I'm contacting you because I won't manage to submit my (assignment title) on (date) due to (give reasons). I undoubtedly understand my mistake, and I sincerely apologize.

  17. Convincing Excuses For Late Assignment

    Convincing Excuses For Late Assignment Updated: 12 Apr 2024. Do you often fall behind in your assignments, leading you to submit your work late and subsequently lose marks for it? Your worries end today. In this blog post, we aim to present you will several excuses you can provide your instructor when faced with a past deadline, so please keep ...

  18. Late for Assignment Submission? Here's How to Write a Perfect Excuse

    5. Glue the Pieces of Evidence Together. It would not be adequate to merely write the reasons in an excuse letter for the late submission of assignments. You must, however, back it up with appropriate information so that your professors can confirm it. If you're writing about a family emergency, for example, don't forget to include the doctor's ...

  19. Guide: How to Apologize for a Late Submission of an Assignment

    2. Express regret and acknowledge the lateness. Apologize sincerely and mention that you are aware of the late submission. This demonstrates that you understand the inconvenience caused. I wanted to say sorry for submitting the assignment late. I know it was due a few days ago, and I feel really bad about it. 3.

  20. Tips to Write an Excuse Letter for Late Submission of Assignments

    There is an upfront penalty for submitting late assignments. Here are some tips on how to write an outstanding excuse letter for your late submission. Be Clear about your Reason. The first tip is that you have to indicate your reason for making late submissions to the authorities. For this reason, you have to ensure that you focus on using ...

  21. How to Write an Email Requesting Your Professor to Accept a Late Assignment

    Subject: Requesting Assignment Submission Date Extension to [Date] Dear [Recipient's Name], Hope this email finds you well. I am writing to possibly get an extension on my assignment submission date because [Briefly explain the challenges and the reason for the delay]. By my estimate, I should be able to submit the assignment by [New Proposed ...

  22. How to apologize for late work in college (with email template)

    At the very least, they will know you appreciated them accepting the assignment. Alright, enough about that. Let's get into telling them. Email template saying you're sorry for late work. Dear Professor Smith, I wanted to send you an email explaining my late work. Recently, I had to submit a few assignments late.

  23. Example Late Work Policies for Teachers

    Grade-Based Penalties. For each day late - 5% - 10% of the assignment's grade (to a minimum above 0%) Non-submission - 0%, fail. Instead of percentage, you can deduct a grade, or a certain number of marks per day late, down to a minimum mark.

  24. Designing a Late Work Policy for High School

    A Late Work Policy That Works for Teachers and Students. Creating clear boundaries around when students can submit assignments after the due date can boost morale for everyone. When the end of a term approaches, educator social media is full of images and commentary on the sheer amount of grading that will be coming their way.