Hi, the best advice i can give you is to focus on using more active words instead of has, had, were etc. those are considerd lazy words.- Also you should go back and highlight all the "the's" and "is" and try to replace them with more active adjectives, or not use them at all it will make your intro stronger. I know it can be difficult to write about the past with out these certain words, but you should try. College Addimissions like that =)
"Throughout the history of the United States of America, many great men have
directed her towards success. The nation has
been graced with many of the greatest minds in history, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison. While these founding fathers were
challenged with the task of establishing a country, another man would be challenged to preserve it. Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president, ascended to office during a time of uproar, turmoil, and disorder. With the secession of many southern states, the duty to preserve the Union befell unto Lincoln. During Lincoln's presidency he would
find himself engaged in a Civil War, fighting a battle over the emancipation of southern slaves. His(vague) leadership and skills as president, along with his congenial personality, have
found him an everlasting home among some of America's greatest minds."
---Sorry i thought this was a college essay, but still consider the changes. This is how college professors like their papers ( I have a tutor that goes to Rice Uni.)