After reading Julius Caesar, put students in small groups and have them wrestle with the question, "What's the point?" Working together on google slides, students must generate their claim-- what they think the point of reading Shakespeare, specifically Julius Caesar is. After stating their claim, students must work together to find research (at least 3 sources) to prove their claim, they must add commentary, and works cited. As an added bonus slide, students are asked to cast a modern day version of Julius Caesar.
What's great about this activity is that it reiterates the process for Argumentative/Persuasive writing without having the word "essay" anywhere near it-- also, students get to collaborate in order to complete the assignment.
This usually takes my 10th grade Pre-AP students two 50 minute class periods.