Suppose you see this sentence, "It is to be expected that we write better." You might legitimately ask, "What is to be expected?" You might ask that because "It" is a pronoun and pronouns need antecedents or references.
I suggest you avoid beginning any sentence with "It is...." Even the harmless, "It is raining" bothers me. But, not so much as some of these other forms:
"It is possible that...,"
"It is significant that...,"
"It is obvious that...,"
"It should be noted that...,
"It it essential that...,"
and the many other forms that writers, especially bureaucratic writers, use.
This metadiscourse has been rightly called "throat clearing" because it adds nothing to a communication, just as a literal throat clearing before speaking adds nothing to the substance of a remark. When these written forms are used, they delay a message and often confuse a reader.
In a similar way, "There are...." sentences confuse readers. Take this sentence, for example, "There was an attempt to implement an activity in direct opposition to the wishes of the management." This will trouble readers for several reasons.
For one thing, we readers are unable to quickly find the subject of the sentence. The writer either doesn't know who is attempting to do something or wants to disguise the fact. This is troubling because readers want to know what is being affirmed in a sentence and they want to know about whom the action is being affirmed. In other words, they want to know the verb and the subject.
Also, readers in the West, as opposed to those in Arab or Chinese societies, read from left to right. In so doing, they like to see the sentence pattern "S-V-O" (even though they may not be consciously aware of it). That is, they want to see the subject of a sentence in front of the verb, not behind it. Any time you write a "There is (or) There are, (or) There will be...." sentence, you will put the subject after the verb.
And, speaking of the verb, if you write a "There are...." sentence, you will have used a "being verb" and we agreed in a previous post that "action verbs" work better in sentences, especially in business writing where we write for action. If you examine my "There are...." sentence above, you will also see that "attempt" and "opposition" are "nominals," that is, verbs that have been turned into nouns(see previous post). These are weakened verbs.
If you are going to attempt something, attempt it. Don't make an attempt. Use action verbs in S-V-O sentences. If someone is opposing something, have them oppose it. Don't put them in opposition. After all, it is better to hit the reader over the head with action because there are so many other things out there competing for their attention. Get it?!