13. Caustic

Definition: (adjective) able to burn or corrode organic tissue by chemical

Replaces: mean/harsh

In order to substantiate that an author’s tone is confrontational, sarcastic, or rude, you should use one precise term: caustic. Like “craft”, “caustic” is a word filled with imagery that is sure to engender advantageous results regarding your grade and your teacher’s opinion of you.

While it certainly isn’t egregious to replace “caustic” with a word like “bitter”, “abrasive”, or a myriad of other terms, in my opinion, employing caustic stirs a much stronger emotion in the grader. Upon reading that word, one will reason that the caustic person is dangerous and malicious. Make sure you don’t overuse this word though; you should only use it to accurately describe some salient topics, otherwise it may slip out and erroneously describe something. Ultimately though, asserting your opinions with the help of this word will galvanize your teacher to give you an A!

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