Extended Writing Project: “The Importance of Being Earnest” Explanatory Essay Prompts

The “Importance of Being Earnest” Extended Writing Project is an explanatory essay where you will be exploring the literary themes of the play, “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde. These themes are overarching and where utilized throughout the play, therefore, you should have the entire play in mind when writing.

Prompt 1: Throughout the play, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, the themes of marriage and courtship play a vital role in the plot, whether addressing Jack and Algernon’s respective pursuits of Gwendolen and Cecily or Lady Bracknell’s disapproval or approval of these matches or simply Jack and Algernon’s ideas behind courtship. What was Oscar Wilde trying to convey about marriage and courtship in the Victorian Era through his work, “The Importance of Being Earnest”? Produce a 4-paragraph response with evidence from the text to support your answer.

Sample Thesis 1: Oscar Wilde’s play, “The Importance of Being Earnest” demonstrates that marriage and courtship in the Victorian Era was


  • Don’t use “I’, “we” or “you” (personal pronouns)
  • Don’t use questions (even rhetorical ones. They lead to passive writing.
  • Remember punctuation and proper grammar.
  • Use transitions
  • If referring to the author, use their full name or last name.
  • Stay on topic.
  • Be sure to elaborate enough (3 to 1 ratio between commentary and evidence-
  • Must have your name, date and period (left-aligned)
  • Must have a title (center-aligned
  • 12 pt font, Times New Roman
  • Double Spaced
  • Indent after every paragraph

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