Sooner or later, a moment comes in the lives of everyone when we have to come up with a credible excuse for not finishing an assignment.
There are a number of possible approaches to this. You can try giving one of the same tired old excuses that every professor has heard a million times: the flu, family problems, your dog.
Or you can come up with something outrageous and simply hope that your creativity earns you some brownie points.
Once you’ve determined that an excuse is the best route, here are some to choose from.
1. “What assignment?” Depending on the instructor or the situation, playing dumb can actually work sometimes. You legitimately have no memory of being given an assignment; or maybe you do, but you thought it was due next week. Didn’t your teacher say it was due next week? You could have sworn he did.
2. “My computer crashed.” Anyone can relate to the experience of being derailed by technological problems. Your computer has a virus. Your flash drive broke. The Internet was down. It’s impossible to dispute that such things actually happen. Be wary of using this excuse with veteran teachers, though; they’ll just say you should have started the assignment sooner.
3. “I’ve had too much to do with my job.” Most instructors will take pity on students who have to work an extra job in addition to school, as long as you don’t use this excuse too often. Remember, your teachers will expect their classes to be your top priority.
4. “My essay was stolen.” Those gosh darn homework thieves are at it again! You KNOW that assignment was in your backpack, but someone must have taken it. Heck, maybe they even stole the entire backpack with your homework in it.
5. “I’ve been too sick to do it.” You’ve just barely been able to summon the energy to drag yourself out of bed and come to class. Your teacher should feel flattered that you made the effort to show up. You’ve certainly been in no condition to finish your writing assignment.
6. “I need your help to figure out how to do it.” This plays on your teacher’s natural desire to help you learn. She will be more than willing to give you a little extra time so that she can explain it to you better. Never mind that you could have emailed her or gone to her office hours before the assignment was actually due.
7. “My essay flew out the car window.” You can hand in a dirty, rumpled, illegible paper to make your story more convincing.
8. “I was abducted by aliens.” Hey, it happens. But once again, this wouldn’t be a problem if you hadn’t left it to the last minute.
9. The truth. Sometimes the truth is really your best bet. It’s likely you have a good reason that your professor will understand. As long as the truth isn’t that you chose to stay up all night partying with friends instead of doing your work.
With this repertoire, you should have no problem finding a great excuse to give your teacher. Feel free to embellish if you want! A little creativity keeps things more interesting.