The essays are not bad at all, They really aren't even essays. they are short response questions. There is no need to spruce anything up or make it all snazzy. Restating is not required, Say what you need to say and as long as you know what you're talking about you will be just fine. There is no need to grab the readers attention or state your beliefs in it. Just answer what the question is asking. Sometimes there will be a graph or a diagram, read those carefully because they could be asking something that is not very obvious in the diagram.