Dear Mrs. Zimmer,
Although it is closely linked and very similar to English literature, it is just not the same. The two different types of literature are actually becoming less and less alike as time progresses. Literature has many subcategories including novels, prose, and short stories. The literal definition of literature has the same meaning everywhere but the styles of writing differ between most countries and cultures across the world. Forms of literature have existed for thousands and thousands of years which makes it so special but in this case, only a couple hundred years dating back from the colonial times to modern day.
Citizens of the United States consider themselves American and most take pride in this personal title. For something to be American, it has to be a product that is produced in the United States. Just because something is written about the United States or the colonies does not classify it as American because it could have been written in a foreign country. As said by Abraham Lincoln, it should be written, "By the people, for the people." My personal opinion is that something should only be classified as American if it is a product of an American.
The combination of this American definition and this literature definition is the way to describe American Literature.
This combination is American Literature.