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Great post. I am, bookmarking it for future. Wonderful suggestion Chris. Thanks... can you post links to some such articles.
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Hello experts,

These are great resources, but I am finding it difficult to find articles that follow the "GMAT rules". E.g. https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2022/07 ... eadly-toll - this article contains the following line -

The researchers were particularly interested in the effects of airborne pollutants released during the fracking process, which include volatile organic compounds and radioactive particles.

Now, if I were reading this as just another article for my knowledge, I wouldn't be bothered. However, according to SC rules, shouldn't the "which" modifier refer to "fracking process", whereas, it logically refers to "airborne pollutants".

I wonder if reading too many articles from such sources would confuse me in the long run.
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Reading articles from The Economist, for example, can be helpful in terms of improving one's RC reading ability. Applying the standards of GMAT SC, however, on such articles may sometimes backfire a bit in the way you described. That being said, for this particular sentence, the word INCLUDE works cannot "work" with FRACKING PROCESS.

The pollutants...include...
The process...includes...

Probably best not to worry too much about external sentences.

Here's an interesting SC you may want to try by the way. In a similar context, it tests which is the correct NOUN to be modified.

How to get better at GMAT Sentence Correction. Look at the non-underlined portion. Hagfish or slime?
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The researchers were particularly interested in the effects of airborne pollutants released during the fracking process, which include volatile organic compounds and radioactive particles.

Now, if I were reading this as just another article for my knowledge, I wouldn't be bothered. However, according to SC rules, shouldn't the "which" modifier refer to "fracking process", whereas, it logically refers to "airborne pollutants".

I wonder if reading too many articles from such sources would confuse me in the long run.

In fact, it's good that you have come across this sentence now. There is nothing wrong with the sentence. If this sentence were a SC answer and you eliminated it, your answer would probably be wrong.

WHICH always refers to something earlier in the sentence.

In most (almost all) correct answers in SC, WHICH follows a comma and refers to the word immediately before the comma.

So it is quite useful to consider this a rule. The rule works well in SC -- but not always. There are some official SC questions in which it does not.

In this sentence there are two reasons why WHICH cannot refer to fracking process.

The first reason is what you said.
It makes no sense to say that the process includes "volatile organic compounds and radioactive particles". It makes more sense to say that pollutants include "volatile organic compounds and radioactive particles".

The second reason is grammatical. Fracking process is singular. The writer has written WHICH INCLUDE; that tells us WHICH refers to a plural noun. It cannot refer to fracking process, which is singular. It can only refer to pollutants.

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Thanks vv65 GmatTutorKnight

Looking at this solely from the "SC" perspective, while I understand that "which" cannot refer to "fracking process" because of the two reasons mentioned in the above post, I would also want to understand what are some strict rules about "which nouns can be modified by the modifier "which"".

In e-gmat resource, I read, it can very well jump "prepositional phrases" - so jumping "during fracking process" seems okay to me.
In a Magoosh video, I understood the above but with a hard rule: that "which" cannot jump a verb.

So, in this sentence can it jump a verb-ed modifier like - "released"??

And what should I do if I face such a dilemma in the exam?
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In a Magoosh video, I understood the above but with a hard rule: that "which" cannot jump a verb.

So, in this sentence can it jump a verb-ed modifier like - "released"??

And what should I do if I face such a dilemma in the exam?

The English language has very few hard rules that make something absolutely wrong. I don't know whether this is one of the hard rules, that a WHICH cannot jump over a verb. For GMAT purposes, we can consider perhaps it a hard rule -- but I'm not sure (and I wouldn't do so).

Can a WHICH jump a VERB-ed modifier as in this sentence? Well, it has done so, hasn't it? It's possible that this is considered non-standard, but (as I said earlier) I don't really know.

If you face such a dilemma in the exam, compare the answer choices. It's possible that all the others have worse problems. Alternatively, it's possible that you find another answer choice that has no problem at all and is better than this one.

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Thank you for doing the work and compiling these reading naterials into one post, it is a big help. Nice!

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