A late assignment can really stress you out.

You know that sinking feeling. You wake up, and you just know something’s wrong. But you can’t quite put your finger on it.

Is it someone’s birthday? Did you miss an appointment? You check the calendar.

Oh, no. That explains the sense of dread. An assignment is due today. So it's a bit of a problem that it’s only half-finished...

A late assignment calls for immediate action, for sure, but not complete panic. There is something you can do – get an extension.

Here’s how to get an extension on a paper – without having to beg, lie, or get huge, expensive bunches of flowers delivered to your tutor.

1. Ask politely

In the face-to-face world, it’s easier to get what you want if you’re polite about it. This is also true in the world of e-learning. A few manners and a little courtesy can work miracles.

Your tutor’s not obliged to hand out extensions. Because you’re asking for a favour, it’s a lot smarter to be polite.

2. Be honest

Your tutor’s heard some pretty wild excuses, believe me. You don’t need to map out a complicated, dramatic story that would work well on reality TV. “The dog ate my homework” doesn’t stand up that well, either.

Simply explain which Life Event has gotten in the way of your progress, and then ask for a little more time to submit the work.

3. Be realistic

Do you really need another 3 weeks to finish the late assignment? Or will 2 days do it? The more realistic your request, the more likely it is to be granted.

If one more day will make all the difference, ask if one more day is possible.

4. Do it now

Don’t put off talking to your tutor until you’re feeling more charming (or a little braver). The longer you wait, the further behind you get. Get it out of the way, and find out how much extra time you actually have to finish that late assignment.

Asking for an extension on a paper is not fun, but it’s sometimes necessary. It’s a lot better than failing a course or dropping out. Your tutor’s very likely to be a human being; you may be surprised that some slack is available.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Liz Hardy is the owner of ElearningTrainer.com and the author of E-learning 101, the friendliest online study guide around. Dr Hardy takes a unique approach to online learning. Blending simple e-learning strategies with a little humour and pictures of friendly dogs, she presents accessible e-learning advice that works.