Active voice, wherein the subjects direct actions rather than let the actions "happen to" them – "he scored a 97%" instead of "he was given a 97%" – is a much more powerful and attention-grabbing way to write.
He did not succeed in his work on one of his most famous inventions, the lightbulb, on his first try nor even on his hundred and first try.
The first sentence – the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective.
Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should (ideally) also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together.
Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked.
The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis.