This is difficult to answer because I do not know how old your child is and how well they can read and write. Some children would need more time to properly do the research and write the essay. If this is true, your child needed to start earlier. Other children can accomplish this task in one evening--if reading and writing come easily to them. There are some times when the answer is that they have waited too late to do a good job. If this is so, help your child learn from the experience and perhaps get started earlier next time they have a similar assignment.