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College commencement speaker accused of plagiarism

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A newspaper reports that parts of a Lincoln University commencement speaker’s speech were without attribution.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports that Atlanta-based motivational speaker Patricia Russell-McCloud quoted or paraphrased at least eight others during the May 16 commencement.

Russell-McCloud did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press or the newspaper.

University President Kevin Rome says credit for ideas should be given even in speeches, but doesn’t believe the intent was to “deceive” students.

University of Missouri media law professor Sandy Davidson says lack of attribution is a “form of intellectual theft.”

Russell-McCloud used similar or identical phrasing from passages by Mark Twain and poet Berton Braley.
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Information from: Jefferson City News Tribune