This is a two-day lesson that uses four different essays to show students how to analyze argument essays. It includes a highlighted copy for you, the teacher, and one for you to copy for the students. (I put each different essay on a different color of paper. That way, after each group had time to analyze the different tasks, I could ask each group to hold up the essay that thought best answered each task. It was much easier to see which groups understood and which groups didn't.)
Students have to look for the claims, the opinions in the paper that are trying to be proven. Students also analyze different aspects, such as statistics, strengths and weaknesses in conclusions, introductions, voice, and use of quotes.
Each day has a different set of group tasks.