The PBA (Performance Based Assessment) on the PARCC assessment includes a research simulation task for grades 3-12. This template, or pre-writing guide, helps students gather evidence from both articles and sets them up for success during the essay portion.
I teach this to my students prior to the assessment and I even quiz them on how to recreate this template on a plain sheet of paper.
This also works as a great modification when reading multiple texts!
In the applied skill section, students identify which skill they are being asked to use (i.e. compare and contrast, author's point of view, etc.)