These prompts with instructions work well as an end-of-unit assessment. Students are free to use their notes and texts to prepare their responses.
I have used these prompts for group discussion as well. The second one also makes for an excellent formal debate. Students pour over the text in preparation. If you haven't tried a formal debate as a class activity, try it!
Finally, consider this in-class writing as a pre-writing activity. Don't tell the students that you're going to do this, but after the in-class writing experience, you can give them the essays back. This gives them a chance to re-write and revise. This has worked well for me when trying to get across to kids the significance of revision. (Some of them just hate it!) But when they re-read what they wrote in a hurry, many of them will see opportunities for improvement, and take advantage of them. Peer editing works well as a step between an in-class writing and a "second chance polish" as well.
The prep for the in-class essay also has a secondary bonus--it's great preparation for a unit test!