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5 Common Excuses for Plagiarism

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One common thread among nearly every individual case is an excuse. Every plagiarism perpetrator claims to have unknowingly or unwittingly duplicated someone else’s work.  

In other words, they’re saying it isn’t their fault.  

For that reason, I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of the most common excuses for plagiarism, as well as determine how each case could be avoided all together.

1.  The Misunderstanding: This may be the number one excuse for plagiarism.  After getting caught in the act, the individual replies “I didn’t think that I was doing anything wrong.” This most often occurs in an academic setting. It might be something as simple as omitting a citation. It also could be something that’s confusing to many (e.g. the issue of self-plagiarism ).

This is probably the easiest excuse to fix. It simply requires a little research on what constitutes plagiarism. One of the best resources for this is , which provides guides on proper citations, links to plagiarism detection tools and an in-depth FAQ to answer related research questions.

2. The Lapse of Judgment: This is an excuse often employed by professionals. In a field like journalism or research, plagiarism is a major breach of ethics and company policy, so the individual here should be well-educated on what constitutes plagiarism. They’ll say something along the lines of “I know I made a mistake, but it’s not going to happen again.”

This is pretty much an admission that the plagiarist knew that they were doing something wrong, but they went ahead and did it regardless.  The proper prevention for this lapse of judgment is the knowledge that most of the time a single instance of plagiarism can result in dramatic consequences.  Any professional working for a larger institution knows that these companies have standards to uphold and making an example of a plagiarist is common practice, even if it’s a first offense.

3.  The Big Escape: The internet might be to blame for this common excuse (although most plagiarists won’t say this one out loud). People often think that because of the vast amount of resources and publications on the web, copying a little here and there will most likely go undetected.

This may have been the case several years ago, however today technology presents many options to identify content misuse and duplication – from Google to myriad online plagiarism checkers and plagiarism detectors like iThenticate and WriteCheck . Be wary of thinking this excuse will pass muster.

4.  The Force of Nature: This excuse is the equivalent of “ the dog ate my homework” from our early school years.  People blame external factors on their wrongdoing, from not getting enough sleep the previous night to simply getting too much pressure from their bosses to produce on a deadline.

This is the  quintessential excuse because the plagiarist can project elsewhere – it was something else that caused them to plagiarize. People who make this excuse need to learn to take responsibility for their actions and realize that dodging blame will only make them look worse in the end.

5.  The Honest Mistake: Is there really an ‘honest mistake’ case of plagiarism? Sort of. Cases of plagiarism come in two stripes, with one side of the spectrum representing the most egregious and malicious cases of plagiarism, and the other side representing more innocent and incidental cases. Thorough editorial review can eliminate most of the latter these instances, but even the best editor is fallible. If it’s truly an ‘honest mistake’, a swift apology and a swifter correction usually makes things right.

If you have heard interesting excuses from plagiarists, we’d like to hear them.  Leave a comment or hit us up on Twitter .

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8 Common Excuses of Students Who Don’t Care About Avoiding Plagiarism

8 Common Excuses of Students Who Don't Care About Avoiding Plagiarism

When caught on plagiarism, students manage to invent extraordinary excuses, which quite often are both ridiculous and pathetic. A teacher found a student guilty of plagiarism and asked him to explain the meaning of the terms mentioned repeatedly in his paper. The student, as serene as Buddha, answered that he had no idea.

To avoid the same fate, think over what you shouldn’t say to make matters worse. Also you need to learn what to do when accused of plagiarism.

Start plagiarism prevention by avoiding the following excuses:

1. “I didn’t know it was plagiarism.”

Nice try, but it doesn’t work in higher academic institutions. It might have been alright back in middle school, but now, when you’re in college or university, be ready to deal with new rules. The academic honor code prohibits student dishonesty and “takes care of the rule-breakers,” if a text plagiarism checker finds plagiarism.

2. “I did it for the first time.”

One time is enough. Punishment for plagiarism differs from case to case and from university to university – you can receive a formal notice or suspension for some time. If the case is too serious or repeated, you can even be expelled from your educational establishment.

3. “I didn’t know how to do the assignment.”

It’s easy to say that you were unaware of what you had to do. If your task is done incorrectly, you receive a low grade or some kind of punishment. Sometimes students are assigned tasks they haven’t done before, but assignments come with suggested guidelines or patterns to follow. Ignorance is not an excuse to justify fraud or theft..

4. “I have photographic memory.”

Some violators claim to copy unintentionally as they memorize a text immediately after reading it. It’s quite easy to prove if that’s true or false. You be sure if you use this excuse, teachers would love to test your abilities. You know how this will end up – with suspension or exclusion.

5. “I write miserably.”

You may realize that your work is clearly of low quality – you lack experience, adequate writing skills or organization. Don’t worry because every day presents opportunities to gain experience. Ask your teacher for help in improving your writing skills. The teacher doesn’t expect you to receive only “A” grades.

6. “I just helped my friend.”

Sure, you can help your friend by writing his/her paper. Unfortunately, there is bad news for you both: anyone involved in creating a paper can be considered guilty of plagiarism. Please, don’t forget that plagiarism also covers usage of work written by somebody else.

7. “We both referred to the same literature sources.”

Plagiarism is detected with the help of plagiarism software online. The plagiarism check software shows exactly what was plagiarized – similar wording is highlighted so you can easily trace the source. It doesn’t matter what exactly you copied – a source material or somebody else’s work – it’s still plagiarism.

8. “I’m too busy.”

As a student, sometimes the assignments pile up. You hang out at campus trying to get everything done on time. You think that the only way out in finishing your paper is to plagiarize! Regretfully, it’s a lame excuse.

If you experience difficulties with time management, reconsider your schedule and define your priorities. Also, it’s good to make notes so that important things aren’t forgotten. Create a good weekly working plan. Finally, if you don’t have time, you may talk it over with your educator and postpone the deadline.

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18 Snappy Lines to Use When Someone Asks to Copy Your Homework

By: Author Hiuyan Lam

Posted on Last updated: October 20, 2023

Categories Social Responses

18 Snappy Lines to Use When Someone Asks to Copy Your Homework

As a student, you might be faced with a situation where you’ll have to stand your ground, like when someone asks to copy your homework. Having worked hard to balance a busy schedule and get it done, it’s normal to feel annoyed when deciding what to say when someone asks to copy your homework.

Obviously, it’s your work, and you have every right to say no when someone asks to copy your homework, but you must be mindful when deciding what to say. You don’t want to make enemies of your classmates, especially when you may have to spend years at the same school together.

But what will happen if you get caught? Technically, this is cheating, and you’ll both be in trouble.

So what can you do? Well, take it by the situation, or, in other words, why the person is asking to copy your homework.

If the person is simply lazy and isn’t dedicated to their studies, handing over your work will only spoil them. And, you’re more likely to get caught cheating this way.

But what if the person forgot, ran out of time or genuinely struggled with the assignment? You may not want to be that harsh because it can happen to anyone.

These are some examples of what to say when someone asks to copy your homework:

What to say when someone asks to copy your homework: 5 responses when they may simply not want to take the time and effort to do their assignments

  Imagine working hard to get your assignments done, and someone comes in and skates by off your hard work. You don’t have to wonder for very long because this is common everywhere.   Some people just don’t understand the value of hard work and will forever seek the easy way out. Your job as a classmate isn’t to spoon-feed; your job is to offer help where possible and encourage your classmates to do better.   Handing your homework over whenever these people ask only serves to spoil them. This is what to say when someone asks to copy your homework after not trying or putting in any effort themselves:  

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5 responses when they have forgotten to do their homework

  It’s not unheard of for a student to forget he/she has homework because of the enormous workload, especially in higher education. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very good excuse in the eyes of most teachers, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to hand over your assignment.   A classmate who takes his/her work seriously can end up in a tough spot. Sharing your answers this one time isn’t the worst thing you can do, just don’t make it a habit.   Working together is an integral part of being classmates, but this rule doesn’t apply to lazy classmates who always have excuses. This is what to say when someone asks to copy your homework because they forgot:  

Student boy writes off test at girl copying homework

4 responses when they say they are struggling to keep up with their work

  Students often have a lot on their plates, whether with schoolwork or extracurricular activities. They may also have a lot going on in their everyday lives, whether it’s personal drama, an ill relative, toxic home life, etc.   No matter what age the student is, these factors have a huge impact on their academic studies. It can mean that the student’s grades will start to slip, assignments will be missed, and can even result in misbehavior during class.   Sadly, this will persist until the student finds a way to get to the root of the issue. Your classmate may look to you for help during this time by asking to copy your assignment.   Here’s what to say when someone asks to copy your homework for this reason:  

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What to say when someone asks to copy your homework: 4 responses when they say they have not understood the material covered in class

  A common reason students fail to complete assignments is because they just don’t get it. However, the student is responsible for making that known by reaching out to their teacher for clarification.   The student can also do independent research like watching YouTube videos and finding tutorials online. Cheating won’t solve anything.   This is what to say when someone asks to copy your homework because they don’t understand it:  

students cheating on the exam class lesson test

    We can’t stress the importance of using the right example of what to say when someone asks to copy your homework enough. You can lose a friend, gain enemies or get in trouble in the process.   You decide what’s important: popularity or academic integrity.  

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How to Make Up a Good Excuse for Your Homework Not Being Finished

Last Updated: February 11, 2023 Fact Checked

Choosing an Excuse

Delivering the excuse, potential consequences, moving forward, expert q&a.

This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff . Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 367,367 times. Learn more...

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 sounds 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.

Step 1 Blame technology.

  • 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.

Step 2 Consider your family's 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. [2] X Research source
  • 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. [3] X Research source

Step 3 Blame an illness.

  • 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.

Step 4 Claim the work was too difficult.

  • 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.

Step 6 Blame your schedule.

  • 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.

Step 7 Avoid playing dumb.

  • 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.

Step 1 Consider the teacher's personality.

  • 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." [7] X Research source
  • 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. [8] X Research source

Step 2 Keep things short and to the point.

  • 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 a 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."

Step 3 Go for a plausible 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.

Step 1 Think of what will happen if you get caught.

  • 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.

Step 2 Look at the consequences of simply being honest.

  • 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.

Step 3 Compare consequences.

  • 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.

Step 1 Prioritize your homework.

  • 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.

Step 2 Seek outside help.

  • 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.

Step 3 Avoid lying habitually.

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

Ashley Pritchard, MA

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While lying too often could reflect badly on you as a student, if you need a good excuse for your homework not being finished, say you lost it. Just don’t use this excuse often, since your teacher will think you’re unorganized. If the homework was on the computer, try blaming technology. Say your computer crashed or your internet was down. Alternatively, claim you were ill last night and had to rest. Only do this if you don’t think your teacher will call your parents to check or ask for a sick note. If you have a sibling that doesn’t go to your school, you can say they were ill and you had to look after them. Or, if you do a lot of things outside of school and have lots of homework to do, pretend you were too busy and ran out of time. For more tips, including how to make your excuse more convincing, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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W riting has always been connected with plagiarism.

The notion “ plagiarism ” has appeared relatively recently but its origin dates back centuries as even the first images on stone walls were copied by other tribes. Today plagiarism is widely spread on the Internet and even paper publications as not every writer realizes that he has used another person’s statement. It is natural that plagiarism can be intentional and accidental , so taking into account the way how it appeared in the text there are different excuses of authors about its appearance. Let’s us consider how different writers explain the presence of duplicated content in their pieces of writing and whether these excuses can justify them.


The easiest thing to avoid punishment for some wrong actions is to say “I didn’t know that”. The same statement is often heard from writers, who have just started their writing career. Some of them claim that they do not know what plagiarism is or was not aware that paraphrasing is also referred to illegal actions. The others intentionally avoid using citation marking and when they are caught red-handed reply that they hadn’t thought they had been doing wrong.

The most apparent case of misunderstanding is a use of unintentional plagiarism . Many people, who take up writing, have previously read hundreds of books or articles and some of them might get stuck in their brains. With some time, other people’s viewpoints are gradually admitted as your own ones and it is impossible to distinguish what was invented personally by you and what was taken from different sources. The only advice to writers who have suffered from such unpleasant problem is to check their writing pieces for similarities and that might prevent them from such a hardly persuasive excuse as a misunderstanding.

Another important issue is to use credible sources that provide guidelines on proper marking of citations and references as well as pieces of advice how to avoid rough plagiarizing.


The only right way to stop being accused of anything wrong is to admit your fault. This is a common excuse used by professional writers, who were noticed to plagiarize. These are mainly journalists and researchers, who usually use duplications intentionally and the only solution for them is to admit their mistakes and promise in public not to do that in future.

Plagiarism among experienced writers always results in a real informational war, where everyone wishes to humiliate him or her in public. That is why such authors try to prevent any gossips and use lapse of judgment for this purpose.

In some companies, such a kind of excuse will not prevent a journalist or writer from great penalties as large institutions consider plagiarism the biggest offense and punish writers who made a try to use it. Unfortunately, not only penalties but also more dramatic consequences can be brought about by presenting someone’s views as your own ones, so lapse of judgment is impossible to call a persuasive excuse.


Though it may sound funny and not convincing there are still some writers, who use this excuse. Such a statement can be used by a primary school pupil, who hasn’t prepared his homework for the lesson, but not by professional writers, who have dealt with writing not for a year already. Many people put the blame on a variety of external factors, but can’t accept that the only wrong-doer in this situation is the writer himself. Lack of sleep, magnetic storms, high pressure or bad health couldn’t make a person copy-paste other people’s creations if he hasn’t meant it. It is undoubtedly a quintessential excuse as there is hardly anything that could cause writers to plagiarize. At the same time, people, who use this excuse, are not able to take the responsibility for their actions. Consequently, only a severe punishment for such unjust actions can give results and teach them not to refer to nature.


Nobody is insured from accidental plagiarism and if a writer does not check his text for similarities before publishing it, there is a great chance that he or she will be accused of minor cases of duplication or paraphrasing . Today it is useless to argue with the majority as most of the evidence is apparent: any reputable plagiarism detection tool will show the similarities and links to the resources, so it is better to admit making a mistake honestly and offer reasons why it might have happened.

Such more innocent plagiarism cases and the behavior of the writer usually do not finish with scandals as even the best professional editor can be fallible. An apology for a truly admitted mistake will ease tension around the problem and the promise to make all the necessary corrections will eliminate it.

Basic RGB

The appearance of World Wide Web has increased the number of publications on different topics in thousands of times and many inexperienced writers think that if they copy a bit here and a little there that will not do any harm. The only problem is the fact that many modern websites have automatic checks of content. Moreover, Google’s latest releases of software are also aimed at detecting not original texts and that results in sites downranking.

The possibility that the duplicated content will not be detected is very low so the excuse mentioned above will end up in the not very pleasant consequences if not immediately then a little later.

All the excuses for plagiarism mentioned above can’t prevent the writer from the legal consequences as copyright infringement and ethical questions can result in criminal punishment. Of course, if the writer admits his mistake the act of plagiarism will be determined as less severe and the punishment will be more loyal. Lying or putting blame on others is considered illegal so it is always better to admit the fault and make any necessary corrections if you are caught to plagiarize. What is more effective is the advice to check every written text with credible plagiarism checkers and you will never have to use stupid excuses then.

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50 Best Excuses for Missing your Homework

We all have drained our brains thinking for the perfect lie that could save us from our teachers. While school days are said to be one of the most memorable days of our lives, homework is one thing that we all used to run away from and would do anything to be away from it. Nervousness tickles up the spine when the teacher starts calling out names, asking for homework, slowly coming up to your name.

And you did not do it!

excuses for copying homework

That is a moment when your brain is thinking hard for a solution, eyes staring blankly at your friends to get help, mouth mindlessly chewing nails and legs just wishing they could let you run out of the room. Alas, none of the things usually work out and it is left up to you to save yourself. And by the time you could make up the perfect justification, your teacher asks, “What about your homework? Have you done it dear?”

“No, ma’am. I mean yes, but actually…”

Well, there is always hope. It can be a good help if you try out these excuses for not doing your homework. There are always some cards that play the perfect role to help you out.

1. “I was ill for days!”

The king of all the excuses, illness can help you out surely. Now, it is important to keep in mind that your illness should sound practical as if it really happened to you. Do not tell of an ill situation that is hard to believe. I have heard that students sometimes even say that they caught rabies, and get blasted later. Viral infection, swelling, digestion issues and fever can work well.

2. “My cat scratched the papers and tore it off!”

Well, let’s not always blame the dogs for killing away your homework. This time, let your cat save you!

3. “I was busy volunteering for a social event”

Or even a community club, pets help, orphanage etc can be used to make up a perfect excuse. Teaming up with a social cause shows you as a responsible person towards your surroundings, and your teacher may like it and give you a day to cover up your work.

4. “Did not the homework was to be submitted today”

Well, this sounds as quite a common excuse, but definitely worth a try.

5. “Parents’ anniversary yesterday”

Yes, and that’s why you were busy all day round decorating up the house, fetching orders, planning the surprises which did not leave you any time for homework.

6. “Fall sick when asked about homework”

When your teacher is coming to you for homework, just bring out the actor inside you and pretend to be really sick, all of a sudden. You can act as if you have a really bad stomach, dizziness or feeling like throwing up as they happen suddenly. Rush to the medical room and you can be saved from a scolding.

7. “Lost it while house cleaning”

Let’s say the papers just got here and there while your room was being cleaned, and you could never find it again. It will be hard to believe one for your teacher though, but surely a fun thing to say as well.

8. “Vacuum cleaner ate it up”

Let the vacuum cleaner suck up your homework! And if the teacher asks that you could have still pulled it out, cleaned the paper and presented it to her, plainly say that it had too much chunk which was immediately cleaned.

9. “Mom gave a punishment for fighting”

And then think of a punishment which will keep you away from your room. Anything which is exhausting and time taking after which you were very tired and straight went off to sleep. For example, say you were asked to mow the lawn, clean the car, check and fix all the electric sockets etc. Surely this excuse can save you well because your teacher to knows that no one can cheat mom!

10. “Slipped out of my bag while I was crossing the bridge”

And below the bridge, there is the river, where it got dumped. But beware; do not think of saying the lie if there is no river in your way. You won’t be able to slip out of your teacher’s hands later!

11. “I did all of the work, but my computer crashed”

This excuse usually works well, because you did your homework but the system crashed. Play it well and you teacher will believe you.

12. “Baby sister pooped on it”

Eww, but it can definitely help you! And no one is going to think further about the assignment once they listen to this perfect lie.

13. “Got a lift while coming and forgot assignment in it”

Now you don’t know where the sweet guy who helped you went, neither you have any number to contact him.

14. “Dog peed on it”

Yes, finally the dog comes in to save you! And a further number of excuses that you can make up that involve your dog. Just like the lie where your younger sibling pooped on your precious homework, your teacher won’t think of it further.

15. “Had an alien visiting our block last night”

Anything bizarre can be cooked up once you say the word ‘Aliens’. You can say they sucked up all the ink of the entire block for their UFO’s fuel, or even that a tornado hit up when they were taking off the land. Aliens are always fun to talk about.

16. “Ran out of toilet paper”

Homework is important of course, but hygiene comes first!

17. “Someone pulled it out of my bag”

Pretend to be really worried, because you clearly remember keeping it in your backpack right this morning. But when you opened the bag in the class, poof! It has vanished. Your teacher will find it hard to believe because it is a lame excuse, but if you play it well, it can work as it points out that someone from class might have stolen it.

18. “Dad took it to work accidentally”

And while you were having breakfast, your dad was packing his bag for the office, searching for his files and papers and by mistake took off your homework with him too. But make sure your teacher does not end up calling your father to send in the homework.

19. “I was hypnotized”

Sounds fake. Totally. But it is possible anyway. Say your cousins were at your place last night and they tried up hypnotizing each other. Initially, it wasn’t happening, but when they tried the trick on you, it happened! And they made you clean all the chores of the house, bla bla bla. Make sure to tell that you were hypnotized all the time and got into senses right before school time.

20. “Butler tossed it into the bin”

Your butler cleaned up the room while you were getting ready. He thought it was some waste papers and threw them off. Plainly say that you were so furious that you asked dad to fire him right away.

21. “Gone into paper shredder”

Your cousin got a new paper shredder and wanted to test it. Before you could act in the situation, he picked up the assignment sheets lying near him and put into the machine. And you were crying your heart out when homework got chopped off finely.

22. “I felt my room was haunted”

And bring in all the conjuring effects that can trickle down a shiver of fear down the spine. Like the aliens, anything can be cooked up if you talk about paranormal activities. Lights got dimmed, bulbs burst off later, cold wind blew in through the wind, creepy sounds etc can all be a part of your story which made you really scared. So scared that you hid under the sheets and just slept off.

23. “Grandmother posted it away”

Say that your grandmom lost her glasses and had a very urgent letter to be delivered. By mistake, she picked up your homework and put it in the envelope. And all the while this happened, you were sleeping thus could not do anything.

24. “Burnt it to make some light”

Due to the heavy rain, there was low voltage and the fuse blew off. There was no light to see the fuse and fix it, thus you had to burn all the papers you could get your hands on, including your assignment. What a sacrifice it sounds! And when the power came back finally, there was not enough paper left in the house to start again.

25. “I forgot to bring my notebook”

The most common excuse, after all. Teachers have heard it a zillion times and find it lame. But it does happen that students forget their work due to a rush. But make sure that you do not use the lie each time you skip your homework because it does not make any sense that you forgot your homework every time.

26. “I was helping mom to host the guests last night”

This trick can definitely play well to save you from a punishment. After all, playing a good and responsible kid is never a bad idea!

27. “There was a power cut at our house the entire night”

And thus you could not see anything around you. A little silly it sounds, but if you play this excuse well, it can help you out for sure.

28. “I gave it for copying but did not get it back!”

Willing to play with your teacher’s mind? Then do try out this excuse. But be prepared for the fact that you may be scolded a little for letting others copy your work. But I’m sure it will be better than being blasted for not doing it at all!

29. “My maid packed food in it for a homeless guy”

Make sure to state right in the beginning that your maid can’t read. ‘Sharing is caring’ can indeed help you out and be a good excuse for skipping homework.

30. “Pen got no ink in the middle of work”

This excuse will be more sensible if you have done your homework, but not completed it. Add on some extra lines that the nearby stationery was closed too or anything else. Though a little hard to believe, it might work out too.

31. “I got robbed on the way to school!”

Why not add some drama to your lie! Make up a good story of how happy you were when you started from home as all your answers were correct but you got robbed in the way, and the bad guys took out everything from your bag and vanished. If possible, shed off a tear too, and the teacher will surely believe you and give you another chance to work on it. But hey, this excuse may not work every time as it is easy to catch out such fictitious excuses.

32. “My little brother made a boat and sailed it!”

Little kids can be a great saviour when it comes to making excuses. Plainly tell your teacher that your baby brother made a boat out of your assignment and sailed it in the bathtub.

33. “Tore it off because all my answers were wrong”

Play out a frustrated kid while telling this excuse, and say how dedicated you were to your work all night. But when you cross-checked the answers, you got angry with yourself so much that you just blew off the paper. Quite an unbelievable excuse though, but if you play it smartly, your teacher will surely believe in it.

34. “Kept it near the window and it blew away!”

Keep it simple, practical and real. Who can stop nature anyway?

35. “I just showed it to you!”

Sounds fun and adventurous, but do not dare to try if your teacher is sheer smart.

36. “Sister scribbled on it, so I had to erase it which took the entire night”

Again, let your family be your saviour!

37. “Did not know about submitting it today”

Though it is another common lie that goes around a lot, it can give you an extra day.

38. “Shifting house, thus misplaced it”

Tell your teacher that you are shifting your house to a new place, thus everyone was busy packing up the whole stuff. And now you have no idea where your stationery is packed!

39. “Drunk friend puked on my homework!”

And you could not do anything but to help him get to the washroom. And it was a stinking gross sight by the time you returned, thus you had to throw away your homework. This excuse can work well if you play it smartly.

40. “Could not understand the concept”

This shows that you tried doing your homework, but came across problems while doing it. You can make it even better by asking some doubts from your teacher to make it clear to your teacher that you indeed tried doing the homework.

41. “I was absent on that day homework was given”

And you don’t know anything about it. In fact, this is the most common lie that every student has given quite a times in their school times. And the teachers have got bored of hearing this lie. But you can still try it out.

42. “Forgot to save my work”

You were staying up all night, working hard on your assignment and then straight away went to sleep. And you went crazy in the morning when you realized that you had turned off your computer without saving your work!

43. “Neighbors were disturbing, thus I could not focus”

Well, it won’t be wrong to blame your neighbours little for not doing homework. Say the music was too loud or they were drunk and kept disturbing us at our home or anything else.

44. “Was busy doing other subject’s homework”

Teachers go a little crazy hearing this one, and they start lecturing the kids. But it happens often that students are already burying their heads in one subject so much that they can’t complete other subjects’ work.

45. “Was busy in a police investigation in the vicinity”

Let’s say that a crime scene popped out in your neighbourhood and you were called upon for a general investigation. The tiring questions made you really exhausted and you jumped into bed after it.

46. “Work got stuck due to printing error”

You were about to print your work, but let the printer take all your pains. Say it ran out of ink, bolts were loose or anything else. After all, technical errors can ooze up anytime.

47. “Had a fight with brother and he tore off my hard work!”

Oh, poor you! You did a good job at solving all the problems, sitting up all night. But he quarrelled with you right when you woke up in the morning and tore off your homework to bits just to annoy you. And every person knows that fights between siblings are a messy thing to tackle, so such things happen often!

48. “Had a bad toothache”

A toothache is a thing which can shiver a person even in his sleep. Your teacher may have gone through the sour experience as well, so such an excuse can keep you safe easily.

49. “Was grounded to my bedroom and homework was kept in the study”

An annoying lie which the teacher may not believe, but it can explain to him clearly that you need more time to complete your work.

50. “I confess…”

Sometimes, telling the truth is the best excuse to explain why you did not do your work. If no other way seems to work out, speak out the truth, blaming yourself a little that you felt lazy and did such an irresponsible thing. Tell your teacher that you would not repeat such a mistake and require some extra time to finish your work. Sometimes, truth wins overall.

Well, keep a thing in mind that the more bring such excuses into use, the lesser teachers will believe in you. do not make a regular habit of skipping homework. Make use of the above suggested fun excuses when it is actually required.

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Top 10 Student Excuses for Incomplete Homework


At askIITians too, we have students who won’t complete their homework on time – either at school or online coaching classes they take with us – and then, try to worm their way out of our prying eyes by making excuses that we know are not true (90% of the times).  Top 10 excuses students make when they do not complete their homework

The Forgetful

The Forgetful

askIITians keeps recorded sessions and you can be caught. So, do it at your own risk.

The Naïve or Dumb


OK, this is sometime true for Maths and Physics problems and we may consider it sometimes. But we would prefer that next time, you make an extra effort to listen to the video lectures once again and trying to find solutions to your problems by being more active on 24X7 discussion forums. And do not play the record too often!

Living in a Hotel

guests at home

And you were the only one in the family to play the host? Lot of us IITians are from joint families and we just had to learn to focus amidst all the family mayhem throughout 365 days of the year. So, work on your concentration level and find a study corner for yourself.

Blame the Computer

computer crashed

You are a tech-savvy person. Learn to save your homework from time to time and few basic skills to retrieve it if it gets lost accidentally. We can help you with it – provided you have done your homework in the first place.

The Super Busy


This might work at school but askIITians request you to keep avoidable engagements at bay for two years of JEE preparation or NEET (AIPMT) preparation – if you are serious about it. School homework or homework from other subject can be easily managed by tweaking your study plan a bit.  Time Management is an imporant life skill to learn to save you from many rainy days in the future.

The Bed Ridden

Bed Ridden

Often, this is accompanied by a haggardly experience on video chat with uncombed hair and a bit of cough. Dude, we have all faked illnesses. Surely, you can solve Maths problems or those Physics numericals even if you have a runny nose. Take a D-Cold tab, sleep off the headache for 2-3 hours, get up and be done with your homework.

Blame the Power Cuts

No electricity

We accept that this might be a valid reason for many of us. All we can suggest is to arrange an inverter or a generator, if possible, to avoid such scenarios. Use your offline study material such as books to use this time fruitfully.

The Endless Parties


Class 11 and Class 12 are the crucial defining years for IIT JEE aspirants. So, keep the distracters at bay for now. You can be the life of the social circle again, as a Star IITian of the Family, again in a few years’ time.

The Apologetic


You disarm us when you tell the truth. We have been through the phase and we empathize with you. But please do not make it a habit.

The Rebellious

“It was boring” or “It was so easy, I didn’t feel like doing it.”

Occasionally, we have a little rebel at hand. You are going to become engineers or doctors. If you had to work on same types of cars everyday or had to treat patients with common cold throughout the day, would you not do it because it is not challenging or interesting enough? Some things need to be done and that’s it.

You can make almost anything interesting by adding ‘time factor’ to the homework game. If you think the homework is too easy, set up a time limit for yourself and see how many questions you can solve in that time period. ‘Fun’ is a state of mind and it is an important life skill to learn.

Excuses that don’t work  


Left my notebook at home: Luckily, we hold virtual classes and our assignments have to be completed online. So, excuses like ‘you lost your notebook’ or ‘you left it at home because you were working in it till late at night’ are not going to work with us.

I was absent: You can never be absent in an online class program. If you missed a lecture, you could always access the recorded video session and know what you needed to do before you attend the next class.

It is with my friend: The ‘kind-hearted’ who are used to lending notebooks in which they have done their homework to their friends have to think of some other excuses for us. Remember, our assignments are online and you always retain their hard or soft copies – even if you pass them along.

Handing over last-minute gibberish: When you try to scribble gibberish just minutes before online class is scheduled for the day, we can make it out. Remember, we are IITians, we are engineers and techies, we are pretty smart, and we know our students well. So, next time you copy answers from your friends and forget to solve your problems step-by-step, we are not going to consider it as ‘completed homework’.

While homework or assignments may look like fun spoilers, they are set as a guidance to help you understand the topic which is being taught in class better. Self-study is an important component of your engineering or medical entrance exam preparation. It is also the most prominent distinguishing feature of those who top JEE exams and NEET (AIPMT) exams and those who do make it through the exams. So, stop being clever and do your homework! 


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15 hilarious homework excuses, homework excuses you may have heard before.

homework excuses

Students will tell you just about anything to get out of trouble for not having their homework. This situation can be fodder to some great teacher stories as students can come up with the most hilarious homework excuses. Have you ever had students come up with homework excuses like these?

1. It just slipped out of my hands and blew away. That’s why I am late. I ran after it. Oops, the wind was so strong that I just couldn’t help it. *Sad face*

2. I was not able to hold the pencil because my finger hurt. You realize how difficult it is to hold a pencil when your finger hurts “really,” “really” bad?

3. I let somebody take it and did not get it back. That little bugger told me he was in urgent need of my homework copy, and I fell in the trap. *Grim face*

4. My dad wasn’t well, and my mom wasn’t home. Oh so common reason. But it works every time, doesn’t it?

5. You told us to do all the questions. Were we supposed to bring them too? I did them as you said but I did them on my rough copy at home. I did not know that I was supposed to bring it too. I will bring that tomorrow, ma’am! I have already done it. *Sincere mode on*

6. I left it in my shirt, and my mother washed it. And I had a fight with my mother. I didn’t do anything wrong. Trust me, I did the homework. *Poor face*

7. My dad accidentally put it in his office bag and took it to work. My dad is always in a hurry like that.

8. My younger sibling ripped it apart. That stupid brother does not understand the difference between food and papers. He chewed my homework. *Angry face*

9. We had an electricity cut off in our house, and I had to ignite it to get enough light to see the fuse box. It was such a sad day for me. I put so much hard work doing it. *Helpless face*

10. I got soap in my eyes, and it blinded me for the rest of the night. I have a good habit of bathing every day after school, and it cost me my homework. Seems like good habits ain’t that good.

11. I got a solar powered calculator, and the weather was cloudy. Advanced math without a calculator? No way.

12. I left my homework on your desk before you came but it’s just not here. I had handwritten it, took me ages!” Somebody must have stolen it. *Clueless face*

13. I left my homework on the table and my angry dog got hold of it. Rest is history. Angry dogs are dangerous, I tell you. I couldn’t try to pacify him.

14. My father went through a nervous breakdown, and he used the pages of my assignment to make paper boats. I wonder how he behaved. Like a kid, you know! I was, in fact, not coming today but mom forced me to stay out of dad's way or else he would tear all my books!

15. I tried so hard to understand the chapter but I couldn’t. Can you please explain it to me again, ma’am? I will give it another try. I am such a sincere boy; I just can’t leave my homework undone. I will definitely do it once I understand it.

Have some more interesting excuses you have heard of?

Or perhaps you invented them!

Share with us in the comments below and let the laughter begin!

About the Author: Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of a leading online tutoring assistance program for college students. Having graduated from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), he worked briefly with the American consulting firm, Kurt Salmon Associates before taking the entrepreneurial route. Outside of the work arena, Aditya has a personal interest in helping MBA students. He is also actively involved in giving back to the society by contributing a part of the revenue towards education of poor students.

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