MAKING UP EXCUSES
How to Make Up a Good Excuse for Your Homework Not Being Finished
If you did not finish your homework, you may want to find an excuse to avoid being penalized. There are a variety of excuses, from blaming technology to your busy schedule, that sound like a plausible reason for failing to complete an assignment. When you settle on an excuse, work on delivering the excuse in a believable fashion. However, try to be careful moving forward. You do not want to lie habitually, as this reflects poorly on you as a student. In the future, try to make sure your assignments are done on time.
Choosing an Excuse
Blame technology.One of the easiest and most believable excuses is simply blaming technology. You can say your computer crashed, your printer broke, your internet was down, or any number of problems. Most people, your teacher included, have experienced setbacks due to technological problems.
- This is a great excuse if you had a paper you needed to type and print. It may also work if you have homework you had to do online. You could say you did the whole assignment, but then your internet cut out and you couldn't save anything.
- It might be a bad idea to claim your printer stopped working. Your teacher may request you e-mail him/her the assignment instead, which you won't be able to do if you never did it. Teachers may also suggest you should have printed an assignment at a local library or FedEx instead of coming in with nothing.
Consider your family's situation.You can use your family situation to your advantage. What is your family situation like? Are there any unique circumstances that could arise due to that situation?
- If your parents are divorced, for example, you can claim you were at your mom's last night, but left your textbook with your dad this weekend. Many teachers are sympathetic to children from divorced homes. Your teacher may take pity on you if you use an excuse like this.
- Do you have any younger siblings? You could claim you had to babysit your little sister and she got sick, resulting in your being distracted from your homework.
Blame an illness.You can tell your teacher you were sick the night before. Claim you couldn't get any work done, but did not want to risk missing school on top of missing homework. Your teacher may take pity on you and admire that you came into school despite not feeling well.
- You can try running around in the playground or hallways before class. This can help you look flushed and warm. If you look sick, your teacher will be more likely to believe you.
- However, keep in mind some teachers may require a note from your parents in the event of illness. If your teacher typically demands proof of sickness, you may want to avoid using this excuse.
Claim the work was too difficult.Try saying something like, "I didn't understand the assignment. I tried really hard, but I don't get it. Can we talk after school?" Your teacher's job is to help you understand a given subject. He or she will admire your willingness to learn if you claim you simply did not understand. Your teacher may be more willing to overlook a late or missing assignment if you seem genuinely invested in learning.
Pretend you lost your homework.Come into class looking panicked, and tell your teacher you cannot find an assignment in your binder or folder. If you act panicked enough, your teacher is likely to believe you're telling the truth. He or she may give you an extra day to get the work finished.
- Avoid saying you left your homework at home. Your teacher may request you call your mom or dad to have it delivered to the school. This will reveal you are lying.
- Try not to use this excuse more than once or twice a term; otherwise, your teacher may see you as disorganized and be less sympathetic towards you if you need to make other excuses in the future.
Blame your schedule.You can always say you have a busy schedule. Blame extracurricular activities and homework for other classes. If you're generally a diligent student, this may work. Your teacher may take pity on you if he or she believes you're genuinely overwhelmed.
- Be careful using this excuse if you're not busy. If you're usually late for classes and do not engage in many extracurricular activities, your teacher may catch onto the fact you're lying.
Avoid playing dumb.You may be inclined to simply play dumb. For example, you may claim you forgot you had an assignment at all. This approach is likely to backfire. Forgetting an assignment is as bad as simply refusing to do an assignment. Your teacher will be unlikely to take pity on you and you'll probably receive a "0" as a grade.
- Never lie you were absent on the day the homework was set. One glance of the register is all it takes for your teacher to see right through this excuse.
Delivering the Excuse
Consider the teacher's personality.Before lying to a teacher, consider his or her personality. This can have an impact on how you should deliver your excuse.
- If your teacher is particularly strict, be prepared to answer a lot of questions. A stricter teacher is likely to grill you, poking holes in your excuse. For example, say you claim you couldn't turn in your online math homework because your internet cut out. A strict teacher might respond with something like, "Then why didn't you go do your homework at a coffee shop?" Have a response ready. Try something like, "My mom was working and there was no one to drive me."
- Do you know anything about your teacher's personal interests? This can help you gauge what excuse may work for this person. For example, you know your chemistry teacher is the oldest of 7 children. He may be more sympathetic to a story about how watching your younger siblings kept you from getting your work done.
Keep things short and to the point.The briefer your excuse, the easier it will be to remember. When making up an excuse for a teacher, keep your story short. Going into excessive detail can seem suspicious and you'll also be more likely to accidentally change aspects of your story.
- Stick to only the important details. For example, say you're planning on claiming your piano recital got out late, and this is why you didn't finish your math homework. Do not go overboard with the details. Simply say, "A few students played their solos too long, so we didn't get done until 9:30 and it was a 45 minute drive home." Do not say, "Chester Mifflin spent 25 minutes on his routine, when we were only given 10, and then Lisa Gregory was little late getting up on stage..." The longer your lie, the more unbelievable it sounds. Most people would not remember this much detail.
- If your teacher presses you for specifics, you can improvise as needed, but avoid excessive detail. For example, your teacher might ask, "How long did the recital run over?" Do not say, "It was supposed to run until 8:30 but it was 9:23 when we got out." Instead, say something somewhat vague, like, "I'd say about 45 minutes."
Go for a plausible story.You want to give a story that's plausible. For example, using the above scenario as an excuse could work great. However, you should only use it if you actually had a piano recital that night. While you may have been lying about it running over, if your teacher checks the facts he'll see at least the basics are true. This means you're more likely to be believed.
Remember all the details.After giving your excuse, jot down some of the details. This can be especially helpful if you had to improvise during the lying process. Lies are often detected because the story changes over time. If you take an effort to remember the details you gave, your story will stay consistent. This can make your story more believable to others.
Watch for physical giveaways.Many people have unconscious physical signs that indicate they're lying. You may stutter excessively, fidget, or avoid eye contact when lying.Try to avoid appearing physically nervous when telling your story.
- Take a few deep breaths before going into the room to help yourself stay calm.
- Make eye contact with your teacher most of the time.
- Be conscious of what you're doing with your body. Try to avoid fidgeting excessively.
Considering the Consequences
Think of what will happen if you get caught.Before making up an excuse, try to consider the consequences of getting caught. Review your school's policy regarding lying to teachers.
- Refer to the syllabus for that class. There may be a section about honesty that goes over the consequences of lying to a teacher.
- You should also look at your school's handbook, if you have a copy. See if there are any sections about what happens if you breach academic honesty policies.
- Consequences can vary from teacher-to-teacher. In some cases, you may only get a strict talking to. However, some teachers may be required to report these kinds of behaviors to the principal and your parents. This could land you in more serious trouble both at home and at school.
Look at the consequences of simply being honest.What would happen if you simply told your teacher you forgot to do the assignment? What are the consequences of late and missing work in that class?
- It may depend on the assignment. Late work may not be accepted, but if the assignment is only worth 10 points, is this really a big deal? However, if the assignment is worth 15% of your grade, it may be worth it to ask for an extension.
- Talk to other students who've had this teacher in the past. How has this teacher reacted to late or missing work? Some teachers may accept late work for lower points. Some teachers may allow you to turn in work late if it's your first time. If this is the case, it may be a good idea to simply admit you didn't do the assignment.
Compare consequences.Once you've looked into the consequences for getting caught lying and admitting you didn't do the assignment, compare and contrast. This can help you decide if lying to your teacher is really worth the risk.
- You can make a pro and con list for each scenario. Write down the possible benefits and possible drawbacks of each option. For example, you can write on the top of a piece of paper "Lying To My Teacher" and then have two columns, one for "pro" and one for "con." Under "pro," you may write something like, "Assignment is worth a lot of points - an extension could help my overall grade." Under "con," you could write, "If Ms. Davies finds out I'm lying, she will report it to the principal and I'll get detention for a week."
- Weigh the pros and cons. If the pros outweigh the cons heavily for one option, this may be the right choice for you.
Prioritize your homework.You do not want to be in a situation where you have to make up an excuse again. If you're making a lot of excuses over and over again, your teacher is likely to catch on. Try to make an effort to prioritize your homework to avoid this problem in the future.
- Do your homework every day after school. Do not do anything else, like playing video games or playing outside, before finishing your work.
- Write down all the assignments you have to do. Make sure to write down an assignment after a teacher mentions it. This way, you won't forget.
Seek outside help.If you're trying to get on a better study schedule, seek outside help. Tell your parents you want to make homework a priority. Explain to your friends you're trying to be a better student. Ask them if they want to study with you, or if they can avoid inviting you out while you're working.
- If you habitually struggle to get your homework done, and have an overall inability to concentrate, this can be a symptom of Attention Deficit Disorder. Talk to your parents about getting tested for ADD.
Avoid lying habitually.You should not make a habit out of lying to your teacher about homework assignments. In the event a real emergency comes up, your teacher may not believe you if you've lied in the past. Moving forward, try to do your homework on time. In the event you do not complete an assignment, be honest. This will reflect better on you than habitually lying.
QuestionCould I get suspended or expelled from school if I didn't do my homework?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf it's the first time this has happened, probably not. If it is constant or chronic, then you may run that risk.Thanks!
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