You won't become a master essayist overnight. But, conquering a few of the most persistent problems that show up in your writing will be a huge help in terms of strengthening your writing overall. Building your confidence is key to becoming a practiced, better writer. Academy videos and a writing textbook - if you have one - can be great tools for this. Select just one writing concept at a time, take thirty minutes to review the rules for that concept and do a few short practice exercises to see if you can get the rules down. Remember: try to take on concepts one at a time to keep from feeling overwhelmed.
In July 1999, an agent of Pakistan’s intelligence service, in the US to buy illegal weapons for al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, pointed to the World Trade Center and stated, “Those towers are coming down.” An FBI informant recorded him saying this and similar threats against that building on two other occasions. This information reached higher officials, including the office of Senator Bob Graham, who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. [ WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02 , Cox News, 8/2/02 , Palm Beach Post, 10/17/02 ]
In general, use very little quotation from secondary or scholarly sources. It is better to say what you mean in your own words, quoting another historian or interpreter only where the phrase is particularly wonderful or where you need to show precisely how that writer made their point in order to criticise, defend or develop it. In all other cases, it is best to summarise. Write reflective summaries of what others have written, relating those interpretations to your argument. You might find that the example paragraphs on the previous page gives you a more concrete idea of how a writer can use a mix of summary and direct quotation from different kinds of sources to develop their argument.