Is it encouraged or discouraged to use "IT IS" at the very beginning of a paragraph in formal writing English?. For instance:

It is often argued that study art in school should be mandatory, since kids who study it, boost their qualifications in other fields, because multi-talent students are more likely to learn things easily.

This is the first and introductory paragraph of an essay. Also, it is correct to write the gerund "studying" after "that"??.. Thanks for your response!!.

  • In context, I understand that you're asking a question. But (and funnily enough, given the subject matter), if you are asking if something is appropriate, you would say is it . . . not it is, and you would also end the sentence with a question mark. So, in your first sentence: Is it . . . ?) Mar 27, 2019 at 17:32
  • Jasson you are right, so I updated the question. However, please explain me when I should use "IT IS" and when "IS IT", because I have seen both are used, but it is confusing to me.
    – pepo
    Mar 27, 2019 at 18:54
  • Perhaps the simplest guidance would be to say that if it's a statement, use the pronoun first. Mar 27, 2019 at 19:02
  • In this case, I mean at the beginning of the paragraph, it should be "is it" or "it is"?
    – pepo
    Mar 28, 2019 at 2:24
  • Well, there's no reason why you can't start a paragraph with a question. Nor why you can't start one with a statement. So, either can be fine. Mar 28, 2019 at 4:41

2 Answers 2


There is nothing wrong with the form you propose - starting a paragraph, an essay or even a great work of literature with "It is...".

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

The gerund is compulsory. "It is often argued that study art in school..." is incorrect.

  • Right. Either: ...that studying art... or ...that the study of art... would work, but not ...that study art... as written.
    – Davo
    Mar 27, 2019 at 18:50

The issue is about clarity. To what does "it" refer, especially when beginning any written work?

Rewriting the beginning with the subject first gives "it" clarity and provides a more meaningful and less bland introduction:

Studying art in school is often argued as being mandatory....

I would argue the same would be true for any sentence beginning with "there are."

  • 1
    I don't see this example as any clearer than the one in the question, indeed I think it is less clear. Moving to the active voice might improve either. Mar 27, 2019 at 17:30

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