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. 

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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