{shortcode-4a2d2713033707ead4110858fa5aa85908c6eac1}Let’s cut to the chase — we are going to end your essay-writing imposter syndrome right here and now. I’m an English concentrator, and I am NOT going to mess around with telling you to use words like “ergo” and “audacious.” Child’s play. No, I’m going to give you words that would send a 16-year-old studying for their SAT into a coma. I’ve spent years combing through Victorian novels, overwritten biographies and obscure theory to bring you, yes you, a cheat code for making your Histories, Societies, Individuals Gened TF somehow give YOU an “Excellent” on the Q guide.

All definitions are quoted from the Oxford English Dictionary. All example sentences were composed by yours truly.

Rebarbative: Repellent; unattractive; objectionable.

The first lecture was so rebarbative that I logged into my.harvard within the first ten minutes to drop the class.

Quiddity: The inherent nature or essence of a person or thing; what makes a thing what it is.

The quiddity of the Science Center is that its population is, at any given time, at least 75 percent freshmen.

Truculent: Characterized by or exhibiting ferocity or cruelty; fierce, cruel, savage, barbarous.

I rapidly become truculent when there are no seats in the d-hall. No, your backpack does not need its own chair.

Anodyne: Unlikely to provoke a strong response; innocuous, inoffensive; vapid, bland.

HUDS three bean chili is anodyne. HUDS quinoa and sweet potato chili, however, is rebarbative.

Opprobrium: An occasion, object, or cause of reproach, criticism, shame, or disgrace; shameful or disgraceful conduct.

Constant construction is the opprobrium of Harvard’s campus. Can’t a person use a sidewalk in peace?

Panoply: A splendid or impressive array; fine or magnificent display; splendor; pomp.

Each semester I wonder at the panoply of intriguing classes offered; then I realize that they’re all MW 1:30-2:45 p.m.

Soporific: Inducing or tending to induce sleep; causing a person to sleep or slumber.

I sometimes find lectures more soporific than my dorm bed. (Not yours, if you’re my professor and reading this.)

Labile: Prone to undergo change in position, nature, form, etc.; unstable; variable.

We were told Cambridge weather would be labile. We did not take this to mean 40 degrees and cloudy every day from October to April.

Risible: Capable of provoking laughter; laughable, ludicrous, comical.

Flyby is extremely risible. Wait, not like that. We’re risible on purpose. As in comical, not as in ludicrous. Maybe I should have done a different example for this one. But I simply can’t think of another campus publication that anyone ever laughs at… Well, maybe one that’s risible in the ludicrous sense…

Include this panoply of vocabulary words in your next paper and watch your GPA prosper. Chat GPT could never. And it shouldn’t. Stay academically honest out there.