Experts say Melania Trump's speech crossed ethical lines

- A few sentences from Melania Trump's speech from Monday's RNC convention is still creating big buzz online.

Many critics are accusing her of stealing passages from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech.

Even Google noticed trend data reflect the searches.

"About an hour after we saw this 1250 percent spike and the search term Melania Trump and Michelle Obama. So people were searching for their names together," said Google's Latoya Drake.

Did Melania cross an ethical line though?

USC's Assistant Dean Gordon Stables frequently deals with students who plagiarize, and he says the speech crossed an ethical line.

"At least the way we would think about it is where the ideas resemble each other both in structure and in presentation and to your point, do so in a way that's not random words that aren't just part of the English language but instead complex ideas," said Stables.

So how much constitutes plagiarism?

Once it crosses over something where the I would say there are multiple instances or the aggregate becomes more than 4 or 5 or 6 percent, that's when you start having questions about 'Is it one quote, is it one reference, is it one thought?"

Stables says if a USC student had the same amount of similar material in one of their essays, they would face major consequences -- even if they didn't know they were plagiarizing.

"Plagiarism can be a problem of omission it doesn't have to be intentional [one]. And this is why I raise the question of the process of ideas. Aristotle called it invention. How did you go about actually building that work. And this raises the question: If a speech writer really wrote that speech and had never heard Michelle Obama's speech, it raises questions. If they had heard it and they didn't change the text it raises other questions," said Stables.

Many people online have pointed out some of Obama's lines have been extremely similar to Deval Patrick's.

Did that cross an ethical line as well? Stables says if Obama were his student, he or his speech writer would probably be in trouble as well.

Copyright 2016 FOX 11 Los AngelesDownload our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Be a citizen journalist for FOX 11 and get paid – download the Fresco News App today.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories