College students, take note: if you plagiarize, people will notice.
Melania Trump spoke during the Republican National Convention on Monday night, leaving some viewers with a sense of dj vu.
Looking at the speeches side by side, they are shockingly similar.
The Washingtonian ran the transcripts of the suspicious paragraphs from Trump’s speech through a comparison plagiarism checker, Small SEO Tools. The results, perhaps predictably, showed that nearly half of the speech was taken directly from Obama’s speech.
“The first half of the excerpt came in at 46 percent non-unique, whilethe next few sentences registered at 44 percent non-unique,” wrote The Washingtonian.
Mashable also ran the transcripts through the checker, and came up with similar results. The first excerpt, however, came up as 47 percent non-unique.
According to The Washingtonian, citing the plagiarism checker TurnItIn.com, “the likelihood that a 16-word match is just a coincidence is less than 1 in a trillion. Melania Trumps longest match? 23 words.”
This particular type of plagiarism is known as “clone plagiarism,” in which the copier lifts words and phrases verbatim from another source. College professors agree that this kind of copying is not acceptable.
Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies and co-chairwoman of the Presidential Oral History Program at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, told USA Today, “if I were reading a student paper and two paragraphs were lifted almost verbatim, I would turn the student into the dean and then he or she would decide the student’s fate in terms of the college.”
Still, let’s hope Team Trump doesn’t turn in any college papers.