A reflective essay shares personal thought and experience. As a personal narrative, you must write in your own voice and style. A reflective essay has no strict guidelines, but it must have three basic elements — a thesis paragraph describing the subject of the essay, a body that delves into your thoughts on the subject and a closing paragraph to summarize the essay.

Experience changes life
Life changing experiences can be traumatic or joyful, but they have great impact on our emotions. Life-changing experiences may include the death of a close relative or friend, a wedding, the birth of their first child, a spiritual call, a career change or loss, and participation in political activism. When writing a thoughtful essay on a life changing experience, be sure to discuss your life path and mentality before the event and how it has changed your life since. They include how the event has shaped your goals and emotions about your future. From traumatic experiences, it is important to analyze your healing process.

A mentor
Mentors are people who have helped shape their lives significantly. A mentor can be a teacher, favorite author, political figure, close friend or relative. Guide you on the right path and encourage you to follow your dreams. A mentor can help change a career, start a new hobby, lead a difficult time or teach a new perspective on life. You do not have to personally meet your mentor. Many people admire public figures and aspire to be like them. When writing a thoughtful essay on your mentor, it is important to educate your readers about who your mentor is, what you have achieved, what she has taught you, why you are aspiring to follow a similar path and how you will achieve your goals based on His inspiration.

Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes change their outlook or course in life. Whether writing about an error that led to a happy or regretful outcome, think of the course of action that led to the mistake, could have done it differently and how that mistake changes your life for better or worse. If the mistake has a negative effect on your life, you may want to include plan to change your actions to a positive.

World events
With immediate connection to the Internet, world events learned within minutes of its happening. Some events that have a significant impact on our lives include natural disasters, missing people, school shootings, royal weddings, presidential elections and scientific discoveries. Before writing reflective essays on a global event, analyze the implications of how it affected a population and how it affects their immediate and long-term future. Be sure to cite credible references and use facts related to the actual event. Also on how the event affected you personally, if you believe was handled properly and what could be done at the policy and community levels to prevent or create similar events in the future.