Being a student is not all about fun and games as you have to follow up on many activities daily. These activities include daily tasks, surprise tests, assignment submissions, lectures, and online classes. With all these and other activities looking up you, the chances of you missing a deadline are very high.
Explaining to your teacher that you were busy with something important or urgent might not be as easy as it may seem. Maybe you had a medical emergency, a part-time job, or just mere procrastination. Assignments are inevitable and a late submission may cost your assignments grades.
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Luckily, if you have a genuine reason for the late submission, you can apply for a deadline extension by filling out the deadline extension form. Most universities in the US provide this option for students as long as the student has a good valid reason to back it up.
Once you have applied for an extension, we recommend that you turn in the late assignment with an excuse letter. The letter should state the reason for the late submission along with a polite but meaningful apology for the same. An excuse letter shows that you are responsible and may just earn you some brownie points with your professor.
Below is a guide on how you can write an apology letter and attach it to your delayed paper.
- Address it to the right person.
The first step is determining who the recipient of your apology letter is. In most cases, your course professor or teacher is the right person to address this letter to. But in some universities, you will be required to send the letter and the assignment to the Head of Department (HOD).
When creating the letter, begin it by respectfully addressing the lecturer, course instructor or professor who is supervising the assignment. Ensure you address them with proper designation and their name. You should also specify the department and university details at the beginning of your letter.
- Get straight to the point
Nobody wants to read a letter that is not direct to the point, especially from someone apologizing for turning in their assignment late. Thus, you should avoid beating around the bush. Get straight to the point and start your letter by stating how sorry you are for submitting your paper late.
Take responsibility for your action and accept your mistake. Start to explain the reasons behind the late submission. Beginning your letter with an excuse will make your apology not sound sincere enough as it will look like just something you are obligated to do.
Open the apology letter by introducing yourself and then proceed to own your mistake of submitting your paper late. In case your university does not provide a form to request a deadline extension, make sure you send this letter immediately after missing the deadline.
- Get the facts right
After owning your mistakes, it’s time to elaborate on the reason why you had to submit your assignment late. There are a number of reasons that can cause the late submission of an assignment. Your late submission or deadline extension request can be accepted by most universities in the US if you give a genuine reason.
Some of the acceptable reasons that you can use in your apology letter are:
- Medical concerns.
- Time management issues due to part-time jobs.
- Family emergencies.
- Death of a loved one.
- Had an accident
- Your PC laptop got damaged accidentally.
- You need additional time to do research.
- You need additional time to do research.
State the reason for the delay in simple clear terms but please, don’t attempt to provide unnecessary justification that won’t earn you credibility. Go straight to the point and discuss the issue you were facing and request a time extension.
For the best outcome, make sure you are honest and transparent with your tutor. On the other hand, ensure that the reason you give is valid and believable. There is no way your teacher is going to give you an extension just because you are lazy or you procrastinated. Thus, you should avoid giving such reasons.
- Attach the proper documents
Just stating and explaining your reasons is not enough. You need to support it with enough proof for your teacher to verify it if necessary. For example, if you were unable to submit your assignment due to an illness, a medical emergency, or a chronic condition you can attach a doctor’s prescription to your letter.
On the other hand, if work commitment held you back from working on your assignment, you can request your employer to write a letter for you and then attach the letter to your apology letter. You can also add verification sources and people to certify the reason for your absence or delay.
As a student, always ensure you deliver all your orders on time unless it is unavoidable is this is unprofessional. Punctuality is a valued virtue in the academic field and you should always be punctual. A late submission can affect your grades and career negatively but an apology letter might help cool things down a little bit.
- Promise your lecturer it won’t happen again.
This will be the last part of your letter. Sincerely apologize for the mistake again and assure the instructor that you will not repeat the mistake in the future. Show the instructor that you regret and own up to the mistake and you will do anything in your power to ensure all your assignments are ready before they are due. Remember that you won’t be lucky every time you fail to submit your assignment on time.
You can follow the above steps and maybe the instructor will accept your excuses for not submitting your assignment on time. If you need expert help in writing this type of letter or working on your urgent assignment, feel free to contact Assignment Essays for assistance.
Reasons why students might submit assignments late
There are many reasons that can make a student miss a deadline. Some students can even develop anxiety that stops them from staying on top of the task deadlines. However, as a student, you should evaluate your circumstances carefully to identify whether you must request a due date expansion. Tutors expect students to give genuine and acceptable reasons when they submit their assignments late. Here are some of the most common reasons why students submit assignments late.
Being sick is one of the genuine reasons for submitting assignments late. Sickness is unpredictable, uncontrollable, and undesirable occurrence. No one chooses or wants to be sick. To sound more credible, you attach a doctor’s report to prove you were sick and it’s not just an excuse. In some cases, deadlines can lead to some students having anxiety attacks which is an understandable reason for the late submission of an assignment.
- Death of a loved one
Calamities hit us when we least expect them. The death of a loved one is one painful event that is never planned. In most universities, when a student brings such an explanation for late submission, most probably the instructor will accept the explanation. Everyone understands how hard it is to cope with such a painful scenario. Death usually disorients even the strongest people and thus they might end up forgetting to submit an assignment on time. Thus, this is a good explanation that can be used by a student.
- Lack of proper resources
Resources are an essential part of every student’s academic life. Without the necessary resources, a student might be unable to finish their assignments on time and thus a late submission will be unavoidable. Necessary resources include research materials, an internet connection, and a library for books.
- Damage to PC or laptop
In case the instructor specified that you should type and print your assignment, this can also be a reason why you failed to submit your assignment on time. Some institutions also require learners to submit homework via web-based platforms. In such a case, you can blame a crashed computer. A computer can crash with your homework in it.
You can also tell the instructor that your younger sibling or pet broke your laptop or you can say power failure or hackers damaged your computer. This is a reasonable excuse that you can use. If the teacher contends that you might have used other methods like loading your assignment to a USB, you can say that the incident happened abruptly.
- Overwhelming assignment
Having too many writing assignments with tight deadlines can be overwhelming. Academic papers require ample time to prepare, do research, and write. In case you have too many assignments, you can request your teacher to allow you more time to work on your assignment. This is a valid reason to justify a late assignment but you should not wait to request the extension at the last minute. You should inform the educator early enough that you have other urgent orders. Most probably you should do it when they assign you a new task.
Consequences for late submission of assignment
Deadlines are set with a reason and you should always do your best to ensure you meet all your academic deadlines. Submitting assignments late or past the deadline might lead to severe consequences that might have been avoided. You might suffer the following if you deliver your assignment late.
- The instructor may refuse to take any late submissions. Some instructors refuse to receive any assignments submitted past the deadline they gave. If this happens, it is likely to affect a student’s grades. In some cases, the student might be requested to redo the unit.
- Deduction of marks. The instructor might decide to deduct 5 or 10 marks for every late submission. If this happens and the student didn’t perform well in that assignment, they might end up failing the whole course.
- Strictness when marking the assignment delivered late. The instructor might be biased when marking such that they are lenient to those that always submit their homework on time and be mean when marking assignments of those who have the habit of submitting assignments late.
- Getting zero marks. You might be awarded zero marks for submitting late assignments. Some instructors do not entertain late submissions and have set strict rule to deter their students from being late with assignments.
How Do You Say Sorry for Late Submission?
- First, make sure you understand your instructor’s late homework policy.
- If possible, notify him or her ahead of time that you will be late turning in your work.
- Explain why it will be late, including when you will turn it in, and apologize for any trouble it may create.
- Tell the teacher that you want to obtain at least some credit for the work, but that you are aware of the rules and will understand if he or she does not accept it. If you are unable to contact the teacher before the deadline, contact him or her as soon as possible and provide the same information as above.
- If your teacher has a “no late work accepted” policy, you’ll have to have a really excellent cause for being late, but if you do have a solid excuse, your instructor may be willing to work with you so that you get at least half credit for the assignment.
Apology letter format
The apology letter just like any other document follows a set structure. Always remember that this is a formal letter you are writing to your professor and you should follow the proper structure. You should also ensure that all the points are written in the right order. A good apology letter must have the elements stated below.
- The address
The “to” part of the letter refers to the professor who reads the letter. The letter should be written to the lecturer who assigned you the assignment. You should mention the designation and name of the professor or HOD first. This will ensure that the letter reaches the right person.
- A strong subject line
The subject line describes the intent and purpose of the letter. This works for the email as well. A strong subject line conveys the basic gist of the letter to the leader. In this case, your subject line should clearly state the words “delay”, “late submission”, and “apology”
- Opening paragraph
This is where you introduce yourself and apologize for the delay in submission. Start by stating your name, department, course, batch details, and the course. After this, talk about the assignment that you will be submitting late. Mention the assignment code, name, and title of your paper. The opening paragraph should contain the following information.
- A short introduction of the student.
- Apology for submitting your assignment late.
- Assignment details and coursework.
Once you have included this information in your introduction, you can now move to the body of your letter.
- The body of the letter
Here you show the reason why you submitted your paper late and how it was inevitable. Show the tutor how serious the issue was and how you were caught in an unavoidable scenario. The tone and language of the letter should be extremely polite and professional. Try to use words that show your regret for turning in the paper late. Keep the letter short and compact.
You can also expand upon the reason for the delay and attach all the necessary documents that will prove to the tutor that you are sincere. The tutor can verify your reason based on the document provided. The body of your apology letter should have the following sections.
- State the reason why you submitted your assignment late.
- Show that you regret submitting the assignment late.
- Attach the necessary documents to verify the reason for the delay.
- Conclude your letter properly
Finally, your last paragraph should have your apology. Thank the tutor for considering your request and accepting your assignment after the deadline. Promise the tutor that such a thing will not be repeated in the future. The last paragraph should have the following three parts.
- Your apology once again for the delay.
- Thank your tutor for accepting your apology and considering your request.
- Promise the professor not to repeat the mistake.
Ensure you add your name, department, class, and any other relevant details towards the end of the letter or the email. This will help your tutor in identifying your request and assignment.
- Reach out to professionals
If you do not have the time or resources to draft the letter, you can reach out to professionals for help. You can browse through sample apology letter templates to understand how to write one or hire one of our academic writers to draft the letter on your behalf. Contact us NOW!