College students know tons of traditional reasons for turning in assignments late – some that instructors will swallow whole, others not. But remember, the language that you use to explain a late assignment will determine whether your professor smiles or scowls.
Here are some politically correct phrases to memorize before college starts in September. They could make all the difference in whether you are a college star or flop-eroo . . .
Don’t’ say, “I procrastinated.” Say instead, “At the last minute, I discovered a whole new body of promising literature on the topic, and I need another few days to incorporate it into my thesis and conclusions.” This implies that you have already completed the paper, which makes you look good. Just be sure to get out of there before the instructor asks to see your paper in its current state.
Don’t say, “I had so much other work that I didn’t get around to your assignment.” Put on a sheepish expression instead and say, “I am having a difficult time prioritizing my work, could you help?” Only the most granite-hearted professor will not succumb to that one. Note: Works best during your freshman year when your professors expect you to be a little helpless.
Don’t say, “I slept through my alarm and didn’t get up to finish your paper.” Say instead, “I experienced an episode of post-sleep deprivation equilibrium compensation – and I am getting help.” The “getting help” part is vital because it implies that you are taking some steps to get that assignment completed, maybe in a week or two.
Don’t say, “I partied too hard last night.” Bring a note from the health service instead and talk about your “hemoglobin levels.”
Don’t say, “My dog ate my assignment.” Say instead, “My hard drive is severely compromised.” Hard drives are the dogs that eat assignments today – don’t forget that.
And better yet . . .
Take online college courses that allow you to complete coursework at your own pace. If you can take all the time you need to complete assignments, you’ll avoid the need for making excuses and focus instead on what college is really all about – learning.