This qualitative case study examined the effects of using graphic organizers as a prewriting tool to increase student writing proficiency. Based on a review of the literature, I determined the key components of proficient writing as well as three research based graphic organizers to implement; outline, detail web, and compare and contrast. Qualitative data were collected through action research as two fourth grade students and one fifth grade student, in a small, rural, town in New York State, read a text and filled in a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts and ideas. Students then compiled a writing sample based upon the graphic organizer. Each graphic organizer was used three separate times and a follow up baseline was then conducted. The 6 + 1 Traits of Writing rubrics were used to assess students’ writing. Anecdotal notes were taken and students were interviewed about their writing. Results from this action research determined that the incorporation of outline, detail web, and compare and contrast graphic organizers to guide and organize students’ thoughts and ideas improved their overall writing in all seven trait areas up to three points on a six point, 6 + 1 Traits of Writing scale.