4. Sample academic explanation letter

Wednesday 3 June 2020

To whom it may concern,

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to explain my absences and failings throughout both my academic studies and placement with the centre. I wish to express my regret for such failings and provide explanations that will hopefully enable me to continue with the program. This letter will address why I did not complete my [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] courses, as well as why I received a fail grade for [REDACTED] and [REDACTED], in addition to other matters such as my lack of communication with the centre and my personal situation.

  1. Why I didn’t complete the [REDACTED] course

I was under the impression that my participation was optional as I was told that this would not be graded. At the time, I was already overwhelmed with worries about my mother and concerns regarding the rapid spread of COVID-19. Therefore, I considered that it would not make a difference whether I participated or not in the [REDACTED] course. In hindsight, it obviously appears very indolent on my part. For this, I deeply regret my non-participation.

  • Why I didn’t complete [REDACTED] after being given the opportunity to resubmit

After I had submitted my assignment for this course, I was unaware when the grades had come out. Again, I had been preoccupied with personal matters such as my mother’s deteriorating health and the COVID-19 pandemic. As you are probably aware, COVID-19 was extremely serious in China, so I constantly worried about my family and their risk of exposure to the virus. Being unaware of the grades coming out, I was hence unaware that I was provided with an opportunity to resubmit. Had I known, I would have undoubtedly taken up this opportunity. I feel absolutely devastated to have missed this chance and feel extremely foolish that I had not checked my grades during this period. I am aware that this appears as if I was not committed to the course. However, I would like to reassure you that I have learned from this and will be more vigilant when it comes to assignments and resubmission opportunities.

  • Why I received a fail grade for [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]

I was feeling extremely overwhelmed and physically sick during the submissions of assignments for these courses. I had failed to take advantage of the tools and assistance offered to me which I can now see was one an easily avoidable, imprudent mistake. I am wholeheartedly remorseful for not exerting 100 percent of my effort into completing these courses. At the time, my mind was again on my mother which worried me to the point of physical feelings of nausea. After extensive reflection, I have come to understand that sickness is inevitable and that I must focus on bettering myself through education. Hence, if I were granted the opportunity to retake these courses, I would undoubtedly prioritise my studies and education.

  • Why I didn’t communicate with my centre regarding my work days after my sick leave

In my fatigued and ill state, I was under the mistaken belief that the sick leave provided by my doctor covered four days rather than two. I hope you can understand that becoming sick amidst the COVID-19 pandemic was distressing. Such distress clouded my thinking, hence, while I was aware that I had a shift on the Thursday of that week, I did not know that my sick leave only covered me up to Tuesday.

I would like to emphasise that I was still feeling extremely unwell on Thursday and if I had realised that my doctor only gave me two days’ of sick leave, I would have requested for it to be extended. I did not reach out to the centre as I was not even aware that I didn’t have the sick leave to cover my shift. Had I known, I would have reached out and provided the centre with adequate notice for my replacement on the day.

To add to this, I was also unsure of what was happening with work as the government had made announcements of the level 4 self-isolation. It was negligent of me not to reach out to the centre to confirm the status of work, and for this, I sincerely apologise.

I feel deep regret for my mistaken belief and am committed to paying more attention to detail in the future, particularly when it regards my education and career.

  • My personal situation
    • How I feel about my studies

While it may appear that I have been unappreciative of the opportunity provided by the [REDACTED] and the [REDACTED],  I must assert that I have learned a deeply valuable lesson and promise to be 100 percent dedicated to my studies and commitment to the centre. Now that COVID-19 has largely been eradicated, my anxieties about health and contracting the virus have subsided.

 For as long as I can remember, I have hoped to attain a Bachelor in [REDACTED] as I have a great love for children. I consider the education of children to be of utmost importance and wish to be a source of inspiration and knowledge in preparing them for their futures. Again, I am remorseful about the ostensibly nonchalant way that I have acted in the past but I wish to persuade you that I have learned from my mistakes and am now fully dedicated to completing my degree.

  • My home situation

For a long time, my mother has been of ill health. She has a series of health issues, including diabetes, heart disease and depression. While other people may have a support system to help them throughout their studies, I feel as though I have struggled in isolation. I have been too worried for my mother’s health to let on that I’m having any trouble with my studies. I feel as though she wouldn’t understand or that it would be an additional burden on her. Therefore, whenever I speak to her, I reassure her that I am thriving in my studies and tell her not to worry.

Being so close to my family before I left [REDACTED], I felt completely unprepared for studying in a country where I knew nobody and didn’t have anyone to turn to for help. More importantly, I felt afraid to reach out for any sort of help as it would be admitting that I wasn’t good enough. However, the threat of being expelled has been a wake-up call that I am an adult who is responsible for my future; that there are support systems in place to help me when I’m struggling. It would absolutely break my mother’s heart if she had learned of my failures, so I am dedicated to bettering myself from now on.

  • My commitment to [REDACTED] and centre

I wholeheartedly hope that you will provide me with the opportunity to demonstrate my commitment to my studies and to attaining my degree. I plan to take the following actions to demonstrate my commitment:

  1. Dedicate at least one hour per day to reading materials relevant to my degree to further my knowledge in education.
  2. Maintaining communications with the College, including reaching out to my lecturers for assistance and guidance when I feel unsure about a topic.
  3. Reaching out to Pastoral Support when I feel overwhelmed.
  4. Participating in every discussion forum to further my engagement in my degree.
  5. Set aside at least one hour per day for writing my assignments and ensuring that I meet deadlines.
  6. Checking my grades daily to ensure I do not miss any opportunities for resubmission.
  7. Engaging with my lecturers’ assignment feedback to perform better in the future.

I am deeply gratuitous for your time and consideration. I hope that my letter clearly articulates and demonstrates my commitment to finishing my studies. Following the threat of expulsion, it has become clear that I need to prioritise my education, including my commitments to the centre. I regret that it has appeared as though I have not taken my degree seriously thus far, and sincerely wish that you will grant me an opportunity to complete my studies. Please be assured that I will not take such an opportunity lightly.

Yours sincerely,

[REDACTED]