SIFT Method

Symbol
An object, person, or place that has meaning within itself but stands for something else in the context of the story/poem.

Imagery
When an image is evoked through the use of really descriptive language

Figurative Language
Includes (but is not limited to) simile, metaphor, hyperbole, repetition, alliteration,etc.

Tone
The attitude an author takes on the subject he/she is writing about

Theme
A unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work, having to do with human nature