I submitted an assignment 1 day late. Should I email the professor to explain my situation? He has a pretty loose policy on deadlines but we should definitely submit the assignment before the answer is posted.

I dropped the assignment in his mailbox so if he does not check on Sunday and posts the answer keys on the same day, he might be suspicious of me submitting the assignment after the answer key is posted, which is way less acceptable.

  • 1
    Do you have a good reason for the late submission? Otherwise it could just draw unwanted attention to you.
    – J-Kun
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 7:18

2 Answers 2


Tell him, he may or may not accept your submission, but if he wants to accept it and needs proof that it was before the answers came out then telling him provides that.

Don't provide a 16 page opera about why it was late, an apology, a (short) reason : medical etc and close.

  • 1
    This. The longer the excuse e-mails I get, the less likely I am to (1) read them and (2) believe them.
    – lemontwist
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 14:40
  • @lemontwist I find true reasons always seem to sound true for some reason...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 14:44

By all means, tell your professor why the assignment was late. Your professor may interpret your silence as a sign that you either don't care that your work is late or that you have no reason to explain your lateness. Most teachers, even if they have a lenient policy on late assignments, expect assignments to be turned in on the due date, and if your assignment is late, your professor may interpret the lateness as a sign of disrespect, which, in many circumstances, it is.

If you have an acceptable reason for your lateness, your professor will at least see your explanation as a polite attempt to justify yourself. If you have no good reason, then couch your explanation in something like this: "Although I don't have a good excuse for turning my assignment in late, I do have a reason to explain my tardiness. . . ." And then briefly explain the cause of the lateness.

In almost all cases, more, rather than less, communication with your teachers is a good idea.

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