5 Steps You Should Do When You Are Going to Miss Homework Deadline

5 Steps You Should Do When You Are Going to Miss Homework Deadline

a person holds a clock with wooden doors in the background

Students face a lot of strict rules while studying. The need to follow deadlines often becomes a real struggle for the student who has too many things to do. Moreover, sometimes we face extenuating circumstances, which interfere with our ability to complete an assignment on time – for example, illnesses or family emergencies. However, let’s be honest, sometimes you just forget about your assignment, and realize its deadline is right around the corner.

So, when there’s no way to get your assignment on time, you begin to panic. Just relax! Stress will not help you complete your paper on time. If you know for certain that the amount of work you need to perform will take much more time than you have left to finish it all, it’s easy to give up. But don’t do that. Our advice will help you to figure out what to do in this situation.

We’ve prepared a few steps which will help you to handle this situation, should it ever arise.

  1. Communicate with your teacher as soon as possible
  2. Follow etiquette
  3. Take responsibility
  4. Consider plan B
  5. Better late than never

1. Communicate ASAP

By letting your teacher or professor know that you can’t hand in your assignment on time, you demonstrate how you’re not waiting till the last moment to make up some excuse. Your professor will appreciate this, and chances are, he or she will be more understanding than you think if you notify them about unforeseen problems beforehand.

Meet with your teacher

First of all, stay calm, and do everything possible not to fail the whole class. Then show your teacher or professor how you care by making sure they know the reason behind your assignment’s tardiness has nothing to do with laziness or lack of motivation.

In this situation, the best option would be to talk to your teacher in person. Look at the table with your teacher’s office hours and speak with him or her about your case.

Write an email

If your due date is too close, you should write an email. Your email should provide:

  • An explanation of the circumstances
  • The reason for the situation
  • An apology for the late submission

You can also ask if your work can be handed in later. In this case, you will be able to set a new deadline or date for meeting in person.

2. Follow The Etiquette

Emails which you send to your teacher or professor are not the same as the ones you would write to friends or family. They have to represent you as a mature and polite person who understands the value of the professor’s time.

Here are a few tips that will help you to write an excellent email to your professor:

  1. Keep it brief. There is no need to write a long and detailed letter — an explanation in 5-6 sentences will be enough.
  2. Be polite. When starting your letter, use your teacher’s full name and title —

    Mr. Grey, Dr. Grey, Professor Grey

    . If you want, you can also use the word


    At the end of the letter, use a complimentary close, such as:

    “Best regards, [your full name],” “Sincerely, [your full name],”

  3. Make sure to use a correct email address from the syllabus or the official website.
  4. Always fill out the subject title correctly:

    “Missed paper deadline,” “Late assignment submission,”

    with your full name and your class and section information. This way your teacher will know who is writing and why.
  5. Ask permission to meet in person if necessary to set up another due date for your assignment.
  6. Apologize for your lateness. Express your regret for not being able to turn in your paper on time. But don’t repeat your excuses — deeds matter more than words.

Just follow these guidelines, and you will be able to send a correct, politely-written email to your professor, so as to notify them about how the situation occurred. We’ve also prepared a brief “unable to meet deadline” email sample for you:

“Subject line: late assignment submission [your full name; class and section information]

Dear Mr. Grey,

I’m reaching out because, unfortunately, I won’t be able to turn in my Renaissance essay on time [the date] because I wrote down the due date incorrectly.

I absolutely understand how this is my mistake, and I should have double-checked the deadline. I hope to turn it in on [date] if you would let me to.

I sincerely apologize for this mistake. I will do my best to never let this happen again.

Warm regards,

[your full name; class and section information].”

If you speak with your teacher or professor in person, remain calm and serious. Many students think that pretending to be ill or depressed will help them to get an extension. However, most of them are not quite the actors they believe themselves to be.

Be honest about the reasons behind the late submission of assignments, and ask if you can turn in your paper later. Even if your teacher tells you late work won’t be accepted, you should still put effort into completing it.

3. Take Responsibility

Deadlines are established for a reason. The older you get, the more responsible you should be. That’s why professors hate when students do not take due dates seriously.

However, if you get yourself in a situation where you know you will miss your deadline, take responsibility for it, and do your best to solve the problem. Never blame your teacher, or learning institution for not giving you sufficient time and opportunity to meet your deadline — your teacher will not appreciate that.

You have to represent yourself as a mature person who knows studying is your main responsibility. If you have no reason, as to why you didn’t turn in your paper on time, here are a few good excuses for late submissions — not a one of them being how your dog ate your essay:

  • You mixed up the due date or wrote it down incorrectly.
  • You lost power.
  • You had a family emergency.
  • You accidentally damaged your laptop.
  • You lost your eye lenses — suitable for short deadlines.
  • You needed more time to check the evidence.
  • You were waiting for a response from an expert to support your hypothesis.

But the best option would be just telling the truth – even if it means telling your teacher that you forgot about this particular assignment.

If your professor grants you an extension – you have to fulfill your promise to turn it in within the new time frame and justify the new trust granted to you by turning in high-quality work.

Also, be on time with your following assignments because no teacher will trust a student who constantly makes excuses for always missing deadlines.

4. Consider Plan B

Sometimes your deadlines overlap, and you feel desperate because of the amount of work you need to perform in a limited time. Many students face this problem, and a lot of them fail their assignments because of the lack of time.

If you realize that you have too little time to manage your assignment yourself, you can always consider a little help from our writing services. Writing teams come in handy during your studies. They can provide you with a paper within tight deadlines. Moreover, you can use the written piece as a source of ideas for your own work, if you want.

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5. Better Late Than Never

The best thing you can do is to put effort into completing your assignment – even if it will be late. Many students could still have gotten partial credit for turning in their assignments past their due date. But they refused to do so because they thought that work wouldn’t be accepted.

Always finish your assignments — you have nothing to lose. If you come up to your professor with a finished assignment, he or she might give you a chance, and you won’t get zero. As long as you try, your effort and patience can be rewarded. You don’t want to fail because you haven’t used your chance, right?

Wrapping Up

Missing a deadline is definitely a problem for a student. No one wants to receive zero credit for a work they did well but had to turn in late. However, deadlines are made for a reason — they teach you to be more responsible and attentive. After you graduate from your learning institution, you will face deadlines at work, and your everyday life more often than you think. That’s why you have to be prepared for them.

Don’t give up if you find out that you can’t be on time with your next assignment. Keep a polite and positive tone, and maybe your teacher will grant you an extension. Anyway, you should never feel desperate because of missed deadlines — a few years from now, you probably won’t even remember such a situation.

Stay positive, and track your deadlines, in order to prevent late situations in the future.