Writing Tip 4: Hit the ITs
Cut out the impersonal 'it' if you know the subject of the sentence.
One way to get greater clarity in your writing is to identify the subject of each sentence, the person or thing doing the action. The pronoun 'it' is a little word to watch out for and, in many cases, remove in favour of a known subject.
The impersonal pronoun 'it' can be useful when referring to a topic like the weather:
It's raining again!
Or when used in a general statement:
It is common practice to use 'it' in a sentence like this one.
But too many impersonal 'its' in your writing can make your writing sound......well, impersonal.
Very often 'it' can be removed in favour of a known subject, either a more specific pronoun or a noun. This usually means that the key verb or verbs in the sentence - the action words- become clearer.
Here are some examples of sentences from memos with and without 'it':
It is necessary that the committee presents a full proposal before the end of April.
The committee must present a full proposal before the end of April.
It will be beneficial for the Organisation to expand and renew its Internet facilities as more and more communication is web-based.
The Organisation will benefit from expanded and renewed Internet facilities as more and more communication is web-based.
And some more examples:
In the report it suggests that moderate exercise is better than no exercise at all.
The report suggests that moderate exercise is better than no exercise at all.
The group wanted to meet in January, but it didn't happen until May.
The group wanted to meet in January, but the conference didn't take place until May.
Tip: whenever possible, identify a concrete subject, the doer of the action. The key verbs should become clearer as a result.