Search Menu

How to Ask for an Extension Without Looking Like a Tool

How to Ask for an Extension Without Looking Like a Tool

Here at SparkNotes, we know how easy it is to get overwhelmed by work. One second, you're the proud overachiever, getting effortless straight As while simultaneously captaining the swim team, volunteering at the local hospital, and writing a lengthy dissertation on Cheeses of the World—only to have it all come crashing down in a flurry of missed deadlines, all-nighters, and the sudden realization that you're sitting in class wearing two different shoes, you can't remember the last time you slept, and holyOMG is that final TODAY? Whether you're an overextended senior who needed those four AP classes, three sports, and community service to pad your college applications, or a college freshman who thought 20 credits plus a part-time job would be manageable, you probably find yourself occasionally facing a deadline for an assignment you have no hope of finishing. But rather than turning in sub-par work or, heaven forbid, plagiarizing, you have a third option: requesting an extension.

Before you go jacking up your teacher for more time, take a quick look at our Extension-Requester's Manual of Do's and Don'ts (with cartoons!).

Do: Have a good reason for needing more time.

Do: Plan ahead.

Don't: Act entitled.

Have you ever successfully negotiated for more time on a paper, exam, or other project? Tell us about it.

Topics: Life
Tags: teachers, excuses, school, extensions

Write your own comment!

About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email