Four Cs Of Good Writing

Just Like The Four Cs Of Good Diamonds

Neera Mahajan


Photo by Jaden Barton on Unsplash

Did you know that there was no consistent way or system to grade diamonds until the early forties?

Diamond merchants used various, usually broad- terms to talk about the quality of a diamond. Words like “river” or “water” were used to describe colorlessness. The term “Cape” was used to describe pale yellow diamonds from South Africa (following the 1867 discovery of diamonds in the Cape Colony). Words like “without flaws” or “imperfect” were used to describe clarity. And subjective terms such as “Well-made” or “made-poorly” were used to describe the cut of a diamond.

As a result, jewelers found it challenging to communicate a diamond's value to their customers.

Then in the early 1940s, Robert M Shipley, a former retail jeweler, came up with a system to consistently rate a diamond. He called it the Four Cs of A Diamond. The four Cs were — Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat.

The concept was simple but revolutionary. Soon Four Cs became the universal markers to determine the quality of the diamonds.

I am of the view that writing also needs markers to determine it’s quality.

After long deliberation and reading what prolific and established writers have been saying about writing, I concluded that writing too has four Cs that can determine its quality.

What are the four Cs of writing?

  1. Good writing is clear.
  2. Good writing is clean.
  3. Good writing is concise.
  4. Good writing is compelling.

Clarity is the first goal of writing.

Clarity is about you, the writer. You need to be clear about what you want to say. If you are not clear about what you want to communicate you will not be able to write clearly.

Clarity is also about the audience. Whether it is an article or a story, every piece of writing is for a particular audience. As a writer, you need to know who you are writing for. What does your audience want to know? And how can you explain that so that the information is understood effortlessly?



Neera Mahajan

Author of Dare To Create, Eight Steps To Be An Authorpreneur, and How To Write an eBook In One Week | Write Your Book with me in 30 days.