To simplify a rational expression:

Step 1: Factor all denominators as a means to easily determine the LCD.

Step 2: Multiply by the appropriate factors to obtain equivalent terms with a common denominator.

Step 3: Add or subtract the numerators and place the result over the common denominator.

Step 4: Simplify the resulting algebraic fraction.

A more involved example follows:

It is always a good idea to state the restrictions. Remember that the restrictions are the values that produce zero in the denominator.

---