Failure to Plan on Your Part… Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

It happens all the time: Students wait until the night before an assignment is due and then they panic over the instructions. There may have been hundreds of other students who have successfully understood the assignment but now, suddenly, the teacher is an idiot who wrote bad instructions. This happened simply because the student waited until five hours before the deadline to start working.

Next thing you know, I get an email asking for additional instructions and an extension of the deadline. It kinda reminds me of the time I got hit by a drunk driver. She failed every single part of the sobriety test and then told the police officer, “No one could have passed that test. It’s way too hard.”

Sure it was, lady, but only if you’re drunk.

Sure the instructions are written in a foreign language, but only if you now have four hours and fifty minutes to finish the ten-page paper that you haven’t started yet. Research? Who has time for that? Just start writing and hope for the best, right? Wrong.

It may be too late to help you with this paper, but here’s what you do: Admit to the instructor that you really messed up and email to tell him or her that your paper will be late but that you will, indeed, turn something in. Apologize for messing up. Don’t expect any favors, but do let us know what’s happening. You probably won’t get an extension but your instructor will be much happier to see your tardy submission than to have you blow off the entire assignment.


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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