I didn't write any of the assignments, and the professor has now sent an email asking me about the progress of the assignments. I don't wish to submit the assignments for reasons I cannot explain. I know it will cost me an "F," but I cannot make sense of how to write the professor an email. If I write back to them that I don't want to submit it, there is a chance that the professor might inquire about the reason. So what should be an appropriate way to write an email to the professor without coming off as rude and without them getting into the details? (It is not that something is off with the course or with the instructor that I am not submitting the assignments. The professor has been the most accommodating to the students in the class and is a good teacher.)

  • If you had more flexibility on timing, would you be able to submit the assignments? If you don't submit them, will you fail only the assignments or the entire course?
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 7, 2022 at 14:55
  • 3
    Why take a course that you plan to fail?
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 7, 2022 at 15:12
  • 2
    That doesn't really answer my question - why are you taking this course if you plan to fail it?
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 7, 2022 at 15:16
  • 7
    Okay, well, it seems like a concerning behavior so I think it's quite understandable that the instructor is concerned. Sometimes a student might want to take a class to get exposed to the course material but they aren't actually interested in "credit" or a grade for the course; this was called "auditing" a course in my institutions, which formalizes the agreement between student and instructor/institution that the student is not planning to complete course assignments or exams (they may complete these anyways if they and their instructor agree, but no grade is given at the end).
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 7, 2022 at 15:19
  • 3
    I agree with @BryanKrause that the instructor is in all likelihood concerned about your well being. (S)he is doing the right thing in not trying to help you with your problems, there are professionals for that, but instead focus on if anything can be done to let you succeed in her/his course. Dec 7, 2022 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


You could just say that "for private and personal reasons" you won't be submitting the assignment. Apologize if you think it best. "Sorry to disappoint you" or whatever feels right. You can also thank them for their concern.

You don't need to explain yourself.

  • Would it be OK if I don't reply at all? The professor will forget about it in their busy schedule?
    – user165485
    Dec 7, 2022 at 14:34
  • 6
    Actually, you should reply. It will take the item off the professors to do list.
    – Dawn
    Dec 7, 2022 at 14:39
  • 2
    Indeed, not replying only makes them more concerned about the OP.
    – Jon Custer
    Dec 7, 2022 at 17:24
  • I would add - acknowledge that this will likely cause you to fail. Dec 8, 2022 at 16:56

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