Sample Language on Late Papers

For a variety of different reasons (some good and some less so) students may need to turn in work late. Preparing a policy in advance about late work will save you time and ensure that the students are treated fairly. You may want to ask yourself how flexible you want to be able late papers; some professors will take papers turned in anytime during the semester and others will never accept late papers under any circumstances. There are also a variety of different grade penalties from half a letter grade to two letter grades a day. You should also consider how and when you want students to notify you that their paper will be late.


For a late paper/assignment, a course policy might take any of the following (or other) forms:

• Students may request an extension for one paper/assignment during the course of the semester, for any reason. An extension of one week will be granted at that time. Any further requests for extensions will not be granted.

• I will grant extensions as long as you ask in writing (email is fine) with a date which you feel you will realistically be able to complete the paper. Once I have granted this extension, you may not ask for further extensions. Outside of these requests, I will not accept late papers.

• Students who turn in late papers will lose one grade “step” for every 24 hours the assignments is late (e.g. a paper that would have merited an “A-“ will received a “B+” if submitted within 24 hours after the due date, a “B” if submitted within 48 hours after the due date, and so on).

• Late assignments/papers will not be accepted in this course and students who fail to submit an assignment or paper on time will receive a zero for their work.