When revising for order, check for weak sentence openers that fill two of the three points of emphasis in a sentence with words carrying no content (i.e., It is... that and There is... that). Revising a sentence with an empty opener is often as simple as eliminating a few unnecessary words. The following diagram illustrates the pattern for empty openers.
Avoid replacing the empty opener with the word exists:
Original: There is an obvious way to handle the problem.
Revised: An obvious way exists to handle the problem.
Be careful to not change or distort the meaning:
Revised: Handling the problem is obvious.
Remember to remove that or which if used:
Original: There are ten activities that are affected by the change.
Revised: Ten activities that are affected by the change.
Don't change it is when it refers back to a known thing: (e.g., Bob spent six hours writing the program, so it is his property).
Empty sentence openers can appear in the middle of sentences as well as the beginnings.
Avoid trying to find or eliminate empty openers while drafting. Wait until revising (unless you enjoy writer's block).