Problem Relatives: Google Doc Add-on vs. Wordy and Misplaced Clauses


A simple problem has long prevented students from revising their papers to correct mistakes with relative clauses: they can’t identify those clauses.

Writing Reviser eliminates that problem.

We highlight all the relative pronouns in an essay and present arrows pointing toward the word to which it relates. Students simply follow that arrow to determine if what they have written is what they meant.

Accompanying text clarifies specifics and also prompts students to consider whether their relative clauses have made their sentences wordy and unemphatic. Why write “the building that is old” when you can simply say “the old building”?

Why write “During this camping trip, we need to ration our food, which consists of sandwiches and fruit,” when you could simply say, “During this camping trip, we need to ration our sandwiches and fruit”?

Materials on misused relative pronouns are just a few of the many ways Writing Reviser helps students begin to ask themselves the kinds of questions experienced writers ask automatically.

Add the Writing Reviser to your Google Docs today for free. Learn more about the Writing Reviser—and our complete suite of writing tools from Curriculum Pathways—at

All Writing Navigator tools are also available on the Curriculum Pathways website and as a free iPad app!

For more information on our relative pronoun resources, see the following:




About Author

Tim McBride

Supervisor, Educational Multimedia Writing

Tim McBride has degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology and NC State University, where he taught English for several years. His first book of poetry, The Manageable Cold, was published recently by TriQuarterly Press at Northwestern University. He works as a writer and an editor on Curriculum Pathways. He lives in Cary, NC, with an American pit bull terrier named Charlie McCarthy and a Catahoula hog dog named Junk.

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