Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention, which was 7% plagiarised from Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, has sparked a series of stories about plagiarism. These discussions illustrate well why plagiarism is problematic, and several news stories may be helpful for teaching students about plagiarism before, or after, they commit this infraction. The stories that I have found most enlightening, summative, and helpful for teaching about the issue are:
- The New York Times: How Melania Trump’s Speech Veered off Course and Caused an Uproar – This story covers the process behind writing the speech, how this process differed from normal speechwriting, a nice summary of the uproar, and how it might be indicative of the Trump Campaign and the character of Donald and Melania Trump.
- CNN: No one to be fired after Melania Trump plagiarism episode: A summary of the reactions and an illustration of how closely parts were copied.
- NPR: A Brief History of Politicians Lifting Words from Other Sources: Several examples of plagiarism by other politicians (including excerpts from the original and plagiarized speeches) and the outcome of some of these instances.
Of course, this discussion could be a little perilous because of how political the national conventions are and how polarizing Donald Trump is.