Actually I think I've just wrapped my mind around it - can someone confirm
2(2x +1) - 3(x - 1) = 8
first expand brackets
4x +2 -3x +3 = 8 (multiplying negative by a negative creates a positive and multiplying a negative by a positive creates a positive)
Second group everything together
x + 5 = 8 ( 4x-3x = x and 2+3 = 5)
third subtract 5 from both sides to reveal x
x=3
. . . . only taken me 2 days to work this one out in my head, please tell me I'm approaching it in the correct fashion.