Sample Email To Professor About Late Assignment

With activities, jobs, relationships, and deadlines to juggle, it can often be challenging for the student to manage their schedule. If you have understood that you may miss a deadline, it is best to acknowledge it and look for ways to tell your professor.

Did you consider sending a sample email to professor about late assignment?

You can use this email to curtail late penalties, apologize, or get an extension. Below we will enlist a few tips on how to email your professor. By the end of it, we will also give a late assignment email to professor example that can inspire you.

Continue reading to inform your professor about the late work.

Tips for late assignment email to the professor

Keep it short and brief.

When you write to a professor, you are nervous and tend to overshare or ramble. We understand that, but please avoid this as much as you can. Professors are busy with multiple tasks daily and do not have the time to read lengthy emails.

So, please keep them brief and to the point. It is safe to provide the information that they should know. Also, after completing the email, please go back, re-read, and edit it to ensure its precision. 

Avoid statements like

I am so sorry. I cannot believe I am making a late submission. You do not know how long I have prepped for this assignment, but I missed the deadline. Please be ensured that I will do my best in the future and guarantee that it is not a repeat occurrence.

Alternatively, say things like

I am sorry for turning in this assignment late. Please know I take my work seriously, and such an incident will never be repeated.

Include a subject line that is detailed but clear.

Begin your email with a simple and relevant subject line sans any vague phrases. Even though your subject should be detailed, it should not be excessively lengthy. Please know your professor manages a massive inbox. So, the more time you cut down for them, the more grateful they will be to you.

Avoid subject lines like: 

  1. Email from a Psych 104 student
  2. Need an Assignment Extension
  3. Hi there from Mark Jacobs

Alternatively, go for subject lines like:

Request for Extension for Psych 104: Mark Jacobs.

Keep the tone polite but professional.

Regardless of how cordial you are with your professor or if you have personally informed him about the late submission when you write the email, you need to be more. Keep the tone as courteous as possible across the email.

Here are some tips to keep it polite:

  1. Across the email, use Please and Thank You, wherever applicable.
  2. When asking for an extension, do not demand but request. Avoid statements like: I need an extension. Instead, write: I will be glad if I can get an extension.
  3. Be formal in your greeting. Avoid greets like Hi or Hey. Alternatives like Professor Martin or Dear Professor Martin are recommended.
  4. The same applies when signing off. Go with a formal phrase – Yours Sincerely or With Best Regards or Best. 

Be apologetic 

Let your professor know that despite this late submission, you are serious about the subject and take the deadlines seriously. If you go on to explain your situation or directly ask for an extension without a formal apology, your professor will think you are ungrateful.

  1. It can amplify the penalties on the assignments.
  2. It might tarnish the relationship you have with your professor forever.
  3. Hence, always apologize.

Say things like:

I am sorry for the late submission. I understand you are busy, and I have zero intent to waste your time.


I apologize for the late assignment. I know it communicates a lack of concern for my grade, but I do not think it is accurate. I could not turn it in on time because (the reason for the delay!)

Request for the extension

Request the professor to push the deadlines a little if you can have your paper ready. Do not worry. You are not alone. Professors routinely get such requests but sadly cannot accommodate each one of them. So, please be thoughtful and honest, as it can amplify your chances of bagging an extension. Via your email, your professor must feel that you take things seriously. So, show them what you have already completed. It can be particularly beneficial if you have already finished the assignment but only need a day or two to make minor amends.  

Here is what you can say:

  1. Professor, only if I had an extra 24 hours to finish this I could structure and explore my insights on the topics for this submission.
  2. I would be grateful to get an extension for 48 hours on this project. I can put forth my best work and learn more from this task with only a little more time.

Include helpful context

Again do not overshare, but explain why you could not complete the task within the stipulated timeline. List the hurdles that came your way in completing the assignment, but do not get into the detail. Regardless, be honest and brief because if you get the extension and the truth comes out later, you may have to bear serious consequences.

  1. My little pup chewed a leaf from our indoor garden, which was toxic. Consequently, I had to spend the entire evening at the vet.
  2. I have been feeling very overwhelmed for the last couple of days, which has affected my schoolwork too. Please accept my apologies.

Own it, and do not blame

Of course, it may be the hardest thing to do, especially if things were not in your control. But please do not play the blame game. If you accept responsibility, you will probably get what you are seeking. Your professor will appreciate your professionalism and maturity and grant an extension.

Avoid statements like:

In all honesty, things were not in my hands, and I am a victim of my circumstances. Hence, the submission could not be made timely.

Instead, say

Honestly, I did not plan for any of this to happen, and I know I could have completed it in time if I commenced a little earlier. Hence, I know it is my fault and take full responsibility.

Say that it won’t happen again.

If it was a fluke occurrence, please go ahead and let your professor know that you will not make it a habit, and it is and will only be a one-time thing. Let them know you are typically responsible and organized and care for your grades and education.

Say things like:

  1. It is very unlike me, and I promise to do better henceforth.
  2. Please know I take my schoolwork very seriously. The assignment would have been my top priority if not for my mental health.

Support your email with a relevant document.

If your submission was late because of your dog’s poor health, a family medical emergency, or your mental health, support the email with medical documentation. Of course, you do not have to attach all the documents: one or two official receipts, notes, or medical records will suffice.

Have a backup plan ready.

Please know when you have asked for an extension, regardless of whether the request is approved, you must get to work immediately. Of course, you must hope for the best, but do not wait for the replies. Try to finish the task at the earliest or hire someone to do your homework.

Here is a late assignment email to professor sample:

Subject: Late Submission of Assignment for [Course Name and Number]

Dear Professor [Professor’s Last Name],

I am writing to inform you that I will submit my [assignment name] late. I understand that the due date was [due date], and I apologize for my inability to deliver it on time.

The reason for my delay is [explain the reason concisely, such as personal or health reasons, technical issues, etc.]. However, I have completed the assignment and attached it to this email.

I understand that late submissions may come with a penalty, and I am willing to accept any consequences for the delay. I hope you will still consider grading my assignment and providing feedback. It will help my academic progress.

Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience my late submission may have caused, and I thank you for your understanding.


[Your Name]

[Class Name and Number]

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