CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A professor at Coastal Carolina University took a look at Melania Trump's Monday night speech from the Republican National Convention after accusations were made the wife of Donald Trump plagiarized portions of a speech Michelle Obama made in 2008.
Among the similar sentences was, "Work hard for what you want in life, and that your word is your bond that you do what you say you're going to do."
Frederick Wood, CCU's academic integrity officer and chair, considers plagiarism a form of theft.
"The ideas that Michelle Obama spoke about and how her parents raised her, unless we have an amazing similarity in how Mrs. Trump's parents raised her and the ability to express those words in two consecutive paragraphs, that would stretch belief for most professors," he said.
Wood went on to say, in a paper, he would expect to see quotations and a source. In a speech, he would expect the person to reference who said the words they were about to speak.
"The fact that the sentences are so similar, that maybe one word was changed, you do a click and change and look for a synonym of a word, change something from strength to height. You can also add to a sentence to make it appear your own. But the phrasing of it and the way that she expressed it wasn't uniquely hers, and it wasn't her speech writer's either," he said.
Wood believed Melania Trump's speech writers may have copied and pasted parts of other first ladies' speeches.
As for Donald Trump's run for the White House, which included his officially clenching the GOP nomination Tuesday night, Wood said this incident certainly goes against his campaign message.
"We see that his campaign made the same mistakes as the Obama campaign made in 2008, that Biden's campaign made in 1988 when you borrow words or speeches from other people," he said. "He has done the same thing. He has become himself another politician, the type of person his campaign is predicated on not being."