There are many ways to look at the process of creating a strong essay. The most important point, the overriding point is that nothing strong is ever achieved without the appropriate effort. It doesn't matter how talented you are as a writer, unless you put in the effort and think about what it is you have to do, you will not create a strong essay.
But then we move on to many other general points which include the following.
- The choice of your topic is oh so important.
- Your ability to find research material is likewise important.
- Answering the question and sticking to the word count is a must.
- Reviewing and revising what you have written will always be helpful.
The choice is really up to you. If you want to make your life easier, if you want to make your task of creating a strong essay so much stronger, then choose a topic which suits you. And by that I mean one which you like or have prior knowledge of or one which you would be really excited when writing about. In many cases the student is allowed to choose their own topic. When that is the case why would you not choose something which has serious appeal for you? Check it out with your teacher or professor first but by all means help yourself.